Illinois captures 2014 Mixed National Championship title
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2014
Illinois captures 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship title
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Greg Wilson's Illinois rink broke a 27-year drought without mixed titles with an extra-end victory over North Dakota, 7-5, this afternoon to win the 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship at the South Wood County Recreational Center in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.) and his Illinois teammates Pam Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Collin Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.), and Michele Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.) scored two points in the 11th end to defeat Al Gulseth's rink from North Dakota. Gulseth and teammates Nicole Reiser (Mandan, N.D.), Mark Gulseth (Frazee, Minn.), and Patty Olesen (Fargo, N.D.) tied the game with a single in the 10th end in a close match of the two Midwest teams.
The gold-medal game was tied 2-2 after five ends until Illinois scored the game's first deuce. North Dakota was held to a single in the seventh but then stole a point back in the eighth to tie the game. The sides exchanged singles in nine and 10 before Wilson's team battled to score two in overtime. This is the first mixed national title for the Illinois region since 1987 and second overall.
In the bronze-medal game, nine-time champion Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) led his Washington rink to a 6-4 win over Wisconsin's Sean Murray rink to go home with more hardware. Much like the gold-medal game, Washington and Wisconsin had a tight battle with the scored tied 2-2 at the halfway mark. Clark and teammates Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Derrick McLean (Bothell, Wash.), and Bev Hale (Seattle) grabbed the game's momentum with a key steal in the sixth end that gave them a 4-2 lead. Murray's team of Heather Betzhold (Hartland, Wis.), Mike Graziano (St. Paul, Minn.), and Paige Caulum (Middleton, Wis.), which finished second last year, scored a deuce in the ninth but could not keep Washington off the scoreboard in the ninth as the veteran rink scored two more to put the game away.
Final scores and standings, courtesy of USA Curling's partner CurlingZone, can be found at www.usacurl.org.
Line score, gold medal:
Illinois 100 102 001 02 - 7
*North Dakota 010 010 110 10 - 5
Line score, bronze-medal game:
Washington 001 012 002 x - 6
*Wisconsin 100 100 020 x - 4
*last rock in first end
Gold medalists, Illinois: Greg Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Pam Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Collin Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.), Michele Rittgers (Highland Park, Ill.)
Silver medalists, North Dakota: Al Gulseth (Moorhead, Minn.), Nicole Reiser (Mandan, N.D.), Mark Gulseth (Frazee, Minn.), Patty Olesen (Fargo, N.D.)
Bronze medalists, Washington: Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Derrick McLean (Bothell, Wash.), Bev Hale (Seattle)
Fourth place, Wisconsin: Sean Murray (Hartland, Wis.), Heather Betzhold (Hartland, Wis.), Mike Graziano (St. Paul, Minn.), Paige Caulum (Middleton, Wis.)
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).
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