North Dakotas Sampson rink earns Nationals berth

Jan. 08, 2012, 9:54 a.m. (ET)
North Dakota's Owen Sampson rink grabbed the final available berth to the 2012 National Championships from the Men's Qualifying Round as the event concluded tonight at four curling clubs across the United States. The three remaining spots up for grabs will be determined from the Challenge Round, which will take place Jan. 19-22 in Eau Claire, Wis.

Read the full press release below.

Source: 
 USA Curling

Author: 
 Terry Kolesar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 8, 2012
Five berths awarded to 2012 Men's Nationals
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - North Dakota's Owen Sampson rink grabbed the final available berth to 
the 2012 National Championships from the Men's Qualifying Round as the event concluded 
tonight at four curling clubs across the United States. The three remaining spots up for grabs will 
be determined from the Challenge Round, which will take place Jan. 19-22 in Eau Claire, Wis. 
Sampson (Edmore, N.D.) and teammates Ned Sampson (Edmore, N.D.), Tucker Smith (Bismarck, 
N.D.) and Kyle Young (Fargo, N.D.) defeated 2007 U.S. champion Todd Birr, 8-6, this afternoon at 
the Grand Forks Curling Club in Grand Forks, N.D. Birr moved down to the C bracket and earned 
a spot in the Challenge Round by defeating Bill Morehouse's team, 9-2. Also earning spots to the 
Challenge from the Grand Forks qualifier were teams skipped by Eric Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), 
Ryan Berg (Fargo, N.D.) and Peter Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.). 
With Heath McCormick's team already locking up the East Qualifier berth at the Potomac 
Curling Club in Laurel, Md., three teams were still fighting for the lone berth to the Challenge 
Round this morning as the round robin unfolded. Teams skipped by Brandon Corbett (Rochester, 
N.Y.), Derek Surka (New Haven, Conn.) and Brian Damon (Schenectady, N.Y.) finished the round 
robin tied for second place. That meant tiebreaker matches needed to be played. The teams 
were seeded with Surka and Damon facing off this afternoon with the winner moving on to play 
Corbett's rink. Surka put up 11 points to just six by Damon's squad to move on to take on 
Corbett. In the final tonight, Surka once again came out victorious with a 6-5 narrow win over 
Corbett to earn a place in the Challenge Round.
In addition to the teams earning spots to the Challenge Round today, other competing teams 
include those skipped by John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.), Mike Farbelow (Minneapolis, Minn.) 
and Paul Pustovar (Hibbing, Minn.). Sean Beighton's team from Seattle has declined its spot. 
Pustovar earns placement based on being in the U.S. Top 10 in Order of Merit Points per the 
USCA Rules Booklet. Teams skipped by Wes Johnson (Snohomish, Wash.), Blake Morton 
(McFarland, Wis.) and John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) also earned spots to the 2012 Nationals this 
weekend. Final results from all four qualifiers can be found online at 
www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks.
Eleven men’s and 10 women’s teams will compete at the 2012 National Championships, which 
will take place Feb. 11-18 at IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, Pa. Here is a look at the field so 
far:
Teams qualified to the 2012 Nationals:
MEN:
Team Brown: Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Matt Hamilton 
(McFarland, Wis.), Derrick Casper (De Pere, Wis.)
Team George: Tyler George (Proctor, Minn.), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Rich Ruohonen 
(Minneapolis, Minn.), Colin Hufman (Seattle), Coach Phil Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.) Team Fenson: Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, 
Minn.), Ryan Brunt (Bemidji, Minn.)
Midwest North qualifier - Team Shuster: John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Zach Jacobson (Langdon, 
N.D.), Jared Zezel (Duluth, Minn.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)
Midwest North qualifier - Team Sampson: Owen Sampson (Edmore, N.D.), Ned Sampson 
(Edmore, N.D.), Tucker Smith (Bismarck, N.D.), Kyle Young (Fargo, N.D.)
East qualifier winner - Team McCormick: Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Bill Stopera 
(Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Martin Sather (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.), Dean Gemmell (Short Hills, 
N.J.)
Midwest South winner - Team Morton: Blake Morton (McFarland, Wis.), Marcus Fonger 
(Cottage Grove, Wis.), Tommy Juszczyk (Madison, Wis.), Calvin Weber (McFarland, Wis.), Mark 
Hartman (Sun Prairie, Wis.)
West qualifier winner - Team Johnson: Wes Johnson (Snohomish, Wash.), Brady Clark 
(Lynnwood, Wash.), Darren Lehto (Seattle), Steve Lundeen (Seattle), Leon Romaniuk (Seattle)
Teams pre-qualified to the 2012 Nationals:
WOMEN:
Team Brown: Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario), Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz 
(Minneapolis, Minn.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago), Coach Bill Todhunter (Menasha, Wis.)
Team Carlson: Alexandra Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.), Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.), Kendall 
Moulton (Minneapolis, Minn.), Jordan Moulton (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Team Hamilton: Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Karlie Koenig 
(Oconomowoc, Wis.), Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.)
Team Lank: Patti Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.), Caitlin Maroldo 
(Rochester, N.Y.), Mackenzie Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Molly Bonner (St. Paul, Minn.)
Six additional women's teams will qualify to Nationals from the Challenge Round, which will take 
place Jan. 19-22 in Marshfield, Wis.
USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, and The RAM 
Restaurant & Brewery. 
Visit the USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, 
Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.
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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 
202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).

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