With four days in the books at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling, things are starting to heat up in Omaha, Nebraska.
Five men’s teams and three women’s teams are taking part in the competition, which runs through Saturday at Baxter Arena.
The men are playing a double-round-robin format and the women a triple-round-robin competition through Wednesday. All tiebreakers will be played Thursday morning. The best-of-three playoffs began Friday and continue through Saturday night, if necessary, to determine which teams will qualify for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Here’s how things shaped up on the fourth day of competition:
Men’s Story of the Day: Three-time Olympian John Shuster’s team leads the pack after Tuesday’s 6-5 win over Team Heath McCormick that put Team Shuster atop the standings at 5-1. Team McCormick dropped to 4-2 but came back to pick up win No. 5 in a speedy game against Team Brady Clark, while Team Todd Birr picked up its second win of the day in the evening game against Team Craig Brown, skipped by the 2014 Olympian, to remain in the playoff hunt.
Women’s Story of the Day: Team Jamie Sinclair took a big step forward in the standings on Tuesday, catching up to Team Nina Roth, which led after Monday. Sinclair’s rink opened with a win in the morning session against Team Cory Christensen to improve to 2-2 and then met Team Roth in the evening session. Ahead 5-4 in the ninth end, Sinclair scored a deuce to go ahead 7-4 in the 10th and earned win No. 3 while dealing Team Roth its second loss.
Where Things Stand: With six games down and only two to go in the men’s double-round-robin competition, three men’s teams are now fighting for two playoff spots, led by Team Shuster. On the women’s side, Team Roth and Team Sinclair have created some separation ahead of Team Christensen.
What’s Next: It’s the final day of the round-robin play and Team Birr, sitting in third place in the men’s standings, will be facing both the McCormick and Shuster rinks in critical games. On the women’s side, Team Christensen will look to keep itself alive with games against Teams Roth and Sinclair.
Team Shuster 5-1
Team McCormick 5-2
Team Birr 4-2
Team Brown 1-5
Team Clark 1-6
Team Roth 3-2
Team Sinclair 3-2
Team Christensen 1-3