American women bring home the bronze

By Terry Kolesar | May 02, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
April 30, 2014
U.S. women win bronze, men finish fourth at 2014 World Senior Championship
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - After two previous attempts, Margie Smith is a world medalist. Smith (St. Paul, Minn.) and the U.S. ladies defeated Sweden's Ingrid Meldahl rink, 8-3, to win the bronze medal this morning at the 2014 World Senior Curling Championships in Dumfries, Scotland. 

"We're very excited. We've been here a couple of years and we've yet to do this (win a medal)," Smith said after the win. "We worked hard; we just needed to stay tough. We were reading the ice well and the girls were throwing the rocks really well so patience was the key." Smith's teammates include Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Debbie Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.), and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, Wis.). They are coached by Jim Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.).

The U.S. men, led by Jeff Wright (Libertyville, Ill.), came up short in their quest to join the American women on the podium at the Dumfries Ice Bowl after a 6-3 loss to Australia in the other bronze medal game. Scotland's Christine Cannon defeated Canada's Colleen Pinkney on the last rock, 6-5, to win the gold medal. This was the second gold at this event for Scotland, who previously won in 2005. In the men's gold medal game, Canada's Wayne Tallon defeated Sweden's Connie Oestlund, 7-2, to continue the Canadian dominance at this event. Canadian men have now won the title nine times since the event began in 2002.

"They just had better luck and played a better game than we did," Wright said after the loss. "It was an exciting tournament; it's a lot of fun to compete at this level. It's a worldwide tournament and my thanks to Dumfries and the World Curling Federation for making this just a great event."

Wright (Libertyville, Ill.) and his team of Russ Armstrong (Lake Bluff, Ill.), Jim Wilson (Chicago), Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.), and Nils Johansson (Highland Park, Ill.) lost to Canada in this morning's semifinals, 5-4, while the U.S. ladies took eventual winner Scotland to an extra end before losing 5-4 to set up the bronze-medal appearances. 

Much like most of the week, the U.S. ladies got off to a strong start to the bronze-medal game scoring a deuce in the opening end. After holding the Swedish ladies, who have won a medal in nearly every appearance at this event, to a single point in the second end, the U.S. again scored two points. A steal of one point in the fourth gave the Americans a comfortable lead at the halfway point at 5-1. The teams exchanged deuces as the second half developed. Another steal by the U.S. ladies in the seventh end sealed up the bronze medal win for Smith's team.  

"You realize that it's any team, any day. You just go out there and we were pretty confident in the second year that we were going to be up there. We struggled a little bit, but it's all about finishing and we did that this week," Smith said. 

In contrast, the American men never had the lead against Australia's Hugh Millikin rink. Tied 3-3 after four ends, Australia scored three points in the sixth end and the U.S. could not catch up on the scoreboard, eventually running out of rocks as Australia handled the defense well. This was the third bronze-medal win for the Aussies at this event. 

This is the third straight year that the U.S. men have missed the podium at this event but first medal for the American ladies program since a bronze in 2007. This is the fourth world senior championship bronze medal for the U.S. women.

Line scores:
Gold medal (men):
*Canada 202 120 xx - 7
Sweden 010 001 xx - 2 

Gold medal (women):
Scotland 000 110 22 - 6
*Canada 021 002 00 - 5 

Bronze medal:
Sweden 010 020 0x - 3
*USA women 202 102 1x - 8

USA men 010 200 0x - 3
*Australia 201 003 0x - 6 

USA women 010 101 01 0 - 4
*Scotland 001 020 101 - 5 

*Canada 010 201 01 - 5
USA men 001 020 10 - 4 

*last rock in first end

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).