CURLING: Three women's teams remain in first place at 2008 U.S. Nationals

Feb. 21, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 20, 2008 Three women's teams remain tied for first at 2008 USA Curling National Championships (HIBBING, Minn.) - Aileen Sormunen's quest to be the skip of the next Olympic team became more realistic as she led her team to a 10-9 win over four-time national champion Patti Lank Wednesday night at the 2008 USA Curling National Championships at the Hibbing Curling Club. With 10 seconds left on her team's time clock when she got in the hack to throw her last stone, Sormunen made a takeout for two to win the game. The Sormunen team is now 4-1 and in a three-way tie with Debbie McCormick and Cassie Potter with one game left in the round robin. "It was our goal to make the playoffs, but now we're trying to get in the one-two game," Sormunen said of the upcoming Page System playoffs. "We have a bigger goal of making it to the Olympics and this experience here only helps us get closer to that goal." Lank (Lewiston, N.J.) and teammates Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) and Chrissy Haase (Schenectady, N.Y.) took the lead in the fifth end with a hit for three points. But, Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Courtney George (Duluth, Minn.), Molly Bonner (Virginia, Minn.) and Jordan Moulton (Highland Park, Ill.) drew in for four points in the sixth end. Lank grabbed a deuce in the seventh to tie the game. "It was give and take...if you look at the scoreboard it's pretty obvious," said Sormunen, the two-time U.S. junior national champion. Sormunen was forced to hit for just one point in the eighth end with Lank taking the lead in the ninth end with a deuce despite having her last stone slide through the house. "It wasn't pretty, but we won," Bonner said. "We're getting our ugly ones out of the way now." Cassie Potter (Minneapolis) and teammates Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and Maureen Brunt (Portage, Wis.) improved to 4-1 with a 7-1 win over Charrissa Lin's team. Potter's team drew for three points in the second end and stole three consecutive ends before Lin (New Haven, Conn.) and teammates Janice Langanke (Middletown, N.J.), Nicole Arseneault (Brick, N.J.) and Rachel Sethi (Falls Church, Va.) would concede the win. Gillian Gervais led her team to a 7-6 extra-end win over Anne Stuhlman's rink from New York. Gervais and teammates Stephanie Roland (East Grand Forks, N.D.), Stephanie Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.) and Sarah Felchle (Bismarck, N.D.) missed a takeout in the 10th end and gave up a steal of two to Stuhlman. But Gervais wouldn't need to throw her last stone in the extra end as Stuhlman couldn't draw in closer to the button with her final stone. The women return to the ice at noon Thursday while the men hit the ice at 8 a.m. If tiebreaker games are needed, they'll be played Thursday afternoon and/or night. The Page System playoffs begin at 9 a.m. Friday. The winning teams at the 2008 Nationals will represent the U.S. at the 2008 World Championships. The women's event is scheduled March 22-30 in Vernon, British Columbia. The 2008 Men's World Championship is slated April 4-13 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. Live scoring from the 2008 Nationals can be found on the USA Curling website at Game scores: Potter 7, Lin 1; Sormunen 10, Lank 9; Gervais 7, Stuhlman 6 Women's standings: McCormick (Wisconsin) 4-1 Sormunen (Minnesota) 4-1 Potter (Minnesota) 4-1 Lank (New York) 3-2 Gervais (North Dakota) 2-3 Lin (Connecticut) 1-5 Stuhlman (New York) 0-5 Men's standings: Disher (North Dakota) 6-1 Romaniuk (Washington) 5-2 George (Minnesota) 5-2 Brown (Wisconsin) 5-2 Larway (Washington) 4-3 Birr (Minnesota) 3-4 Fenson (Minnesota) 3-4 Shuster (Minnesota) 3-4 Wilberg (Wisconsin) 1-6 Roe (Wisconsin) 0-7 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T through a joint marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).