Washington and Wisconsin lead the way at 2014 Mixed Championship

By Terry Kolesar | March 18, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
March 18, 2014

Washington, Wisconsin lead the way at 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Two familiar teams on the mixed scene kept their perfect records intact Monday during round robin play at the 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

Washington's Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) and Wisconsin's Sean Murray (Hartland, Wis.), who came into the competition ranked No. 1 and 2 respectively, remain the leaders of the 10-team field through six draws at the South Wood County Recreational Center (SWCRC).

Clark and teammates Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Derrick McLean (Bothell, Wash.), and Bev Hale (Seattle) had one game yesterday and rolled to a 9-5 victory over previously undefeated Darrick Kizlyk of Colorado.  Wisconsin's quartet of Murray, Heather Betzhold (Hartland, Wis.), Mike Graziano (St. Paul, Minn.), and Paige Caulum (Middleton, Wis.) had the morning draw off and defeated New York's Michael Stefanik rink, 13-4, in the night session courtesy of a big steal of six in the fourth end.

The Illinois team of Greg Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Pam Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Collin Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.), and Michele Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.) built momentum with two wins Monday to improve to 3-1 as the event nears the halfway point. Illinois picked up a 7-3 victory over Oregon's Kevin Rutherford rink in the morning and came back to defeat Colorado, 7-4, last night. 

Keeping pace with Illinois in the standings is Al Gulseth's North Dakota rink, which earned an 8-5 win over Minnesota's Randy Baird with key steals late in the game. Gulseth (Moorhead, Minn.) and teammates Nicole Reiser (Mandan, N.D.), Mark Gulseth (Frazee, Minn.), and Patty Olesen (Fargo, N.D.) return to the ice with two games today against Washington (4-0) and Ohio's Stu Cohen rink, which earned its first win of the tournament with a 13-5 defeat of California's Adam Endicott rink.

The competition continues today with draws at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. CDT. After the round robin concludes on Thursday, the top four teams advance to Friday afternoon's semifinals. The bronze- and gold-medal games will be contested on Saturday at 1 p.m. CDT. Live scoring, courtesy of USA Curling's partner CurlingZone, is available throughout the event at www.usacurl.org. 

Draw 5 results, 1:30 p.m. Monday: Illinois 7, Oregon 3; Ohio 13, California 5; Washington 9, Colorado 5; Minnesota 11, New York 4

Draw 6 results, 6:30 p.m. Monday: North Dakota 8, Minnesota 5; Wisconsin 13, New York 4; Oregon 8, California 6; Illinois 7, Colorado 4

Washington (Clark) 4-0
Wisconsin (Murray) 4-0
Illinois (Wilson) 3-1
North Dakota (Gulseth) 3-1
Colorado (Kizlyk) 3-2
Minnesota (Baird) 3-2
Ohio (Cohen) 1-3
Oregon (Rutherford) 1-4
New York (Stefanik) 0-4
California (Endicott) 0-5


USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.

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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