USA Curling

Teams making push for semifinals at Mixed Championship

By Terry Kolesar | March 20, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2014

Teams making push for semifinals at 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Only four teams will advance to Friday's semifinals at the 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., but seven teams still have a fighting chance to be named national champion at the South Wood County Recreational Center.

With just one day of round robin competition left on the schedule, New York (4-4) and Colorado (4-4) are on the outside looking in as they hope to advance to the playoffs. Michael Stefanik's New York rink improved its odds with two big wins during Wednesday's action. Stefanik (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) and teammates Andrea Warr (Burnt Hills, N.Y.), Dion Warr (Burnt Hills, N.Y.), and Lisa Nieradka (Clifton Park, N.Y.) took down the 10-time national champions from Washington, led by Washington's Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), 8-6. Then in the afternoon session the team defeated Stu Cohen's Ohio rink, 11-8, to even their record. Colorado, which started the tournament 3-0, slipped to 4-4 in the standings with a 6-5 loss to California.

Clark's team still holds the top spot in the standings at 6-1 despite the loss to New York. Minnesota and North Dakota moved up the ladder as well. Al Gulseth's North Dakota rink picked up two wins to improve to 6-2. Gulseth and his team of Nicole Reiser (Mandan, N.D.), Mark Gulseth (Frazee, Minn.), and Patty Olesen (Fargo, N.D.) slid past Oregon's Kevin Rutherford, 7-2, and then in the evening session they handed Wisconsin's Sean Murray rink its second loss of the day, 11-8.

Rinks skipped by Minnesota's Randy Baird (Bemidji, Minn.) and Greg Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.) are right behind North Dakota and Washington with identical 5-2 records. Those two teams will meet in the round robin finale tonight. 

Wilson and his Chicago Curling Club teammates Pam Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Collin Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.), and Michele Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.) went 1-1 on Wednesday with a morning win over Ohio, 9-5, but then lost to Washington, 9-7. Baird's Minnesota rink had just one game as they got past Wisconsin, 6-3.

The competition continues today with draws at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. CDT. 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 9 results, 1:30 p.m. Wednesday: North Dakota 7, Oregon 2; New York 8, Washington 6; Illinois 9, Ohio 5; Minnesota 6, Wisconsin 3

Draw 10 results, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday: Washington 9, Illinois 7; California 6, Colorado 5; North Dakota 11, Wisconsin 8; New York 11, Ohio 8

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

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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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