USA Curling

Playoff field starting to take shape at 2014 Mixed National Championship

By Terry Kolesar | March 19, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2014

Playoff field taking shape at 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - After eight draws of competition at the 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Washington and Wisconsin are not budging from their perch atop the standings.

Washington's Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) and Wisconsin's Sean Murray (Hartland, Wis.) improved their rinks to 5-0 at the South Wood County Recreational Center (SWCRC), setting up a round robin finale showdown Thursday between the two teams.

Murray and teammates Heather Betzhold (Hartland, Wis.), Mike Graziano (St. Paul, Minn.), and Paige Caulum (Middleton, Wis.), who finished second at last year's championship, earned their fifth win last night with an 8-5 defeat of Colorado's Darrick Kizlyk rink. The Wisconsin team used key steals in the first half of the game and then kept Colorado at bay thereafter.

Earlier in the day, Clark and teammates Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Derrick McLean (Bothell, Wash.), and Bev Hale (Seattle) defeated North Dakota's Al Gulseth rink, 6-4, to stay undefeated. Gulseth and his team of Nicole Reiser (Mandan, N.D.), Mark Gulseth (Frazee, Minn.), and Patty Olesen (Fargo, N.D.) are 4-2 in the standings and keeping a playoff berth in sight after shutting out Ohio's Stu Cohen rink, 8-0, last night.

Rinks skipped by Minnesota's Randy Baird (Bemidji, Minn.) and Greg Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.) also are in the playoff hunt. Baird and teammates Hope Baird, Chase Schmitt, and Sarah Lehman (all of Bemidji, Minn.) picked up a fourth win yesterday with a 7-2 win over Kevin Rutherford's Oregon rink. 

Wilson and his Chicago Curling Club teammates Pam Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Collin Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.), and Michele Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.) defeated California's Adam Endicott rink, 12-4, to improve to 4-1. The win was fueled by important steals of three and four points.

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 8 results, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday: New York 10, California 7; Minnesota 7, Oregon 2; Wisconsin 8, Colorado 5; North Dakota 8, Ohio 0

Draw 7 results, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday: Colorado 9, Ohio 4; Illinois 12, California 4; Washington 6, North Dakota 4; New York 8, Oregon 5

Standings:
Washington (Clark) 5-0
Wisconsin (Murray) 5-0
Illinois (Wilson) 4-1
North Dakota (Gulseth) 4-2
Minnesota (Baird) 4-2
Colorado (Kizlyk) 4-3
New York (Stefanik) 2-4
Ohio (Cohen) 1-5
Oregon (Rutherford) 1-6
California (Endicott) 0-7

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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).

Follow us on Facebook (search for USA Curling) and Twitter (@terry_usacurl). Be sure to visit the new USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org. 

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