By Paul D. Bowker | Feb. 16, 2019, 8:31 p.m. (ET)
Team Sinclair poses for a photo with the trophy at the 2019 USA Curling National Championships on Feb. 16, 2019 in Kalamazoo, Mich.

 

Four-time Olympian John Shuster and three-time national champion Jamie Sinclair are headed back to the world championships.

Team Shuster, which won a historic gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, won the USA Curling National Championships on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with an 8-4 victory over two-time national champ Rich Ruohonen’s rink.

Sinclair, who finished fourth at the 2018 world championships and was runner-up at the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling, defeated 2018 Olympian Nina Roth in Saturday’s women’s final by a score of 6-4.

The win in the men’s title match put Shuster in his eighth world championship. Shuster has reached the Olympic Games or the world championships in five consecutive years. In the last three years, Shuster’s rink has won the first Olympic gold medal in U.S. history, and finished fourth and third at the world championships.

Playing alongside Shuster in their title run were 2018 Olympians Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner, and 2010 Olympian Chris Plys.

The men’s world championship begins March 30 in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Team Shuster, which defeated Team Ruohonen for the third time this week, started quickly in Saturday’s match, scoring points in each of the first three ends for a 4-0 advantage.

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In the women’s title match, Sinclair won her third straight national championship. Sinclair’s teammates are Monica Walker, a two-time U.S. mixed doubles champion who also won her third straight national championship, and twin sisters Sarah and Taylor Anderson, who are 2012 Youth Olympians.

They’ll compete in the women’s world championship in Silkeborg, Denmark, beginning March 16.

Ahead by one point in the final end, Sinclair drew a rock into the house for the win in Saturday’s title match and then jumped into the arms of her teammates.

“I’m definitely really excited,” Taylor Anderson said. “I had tears well up right away when we made that shot.”

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.