CURLING: 2008 Club Nationals kick off in Mankato, Minn.

March 03, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
Curling's Club Nationals first round women's results (MANKATO, Minn.) - The first women's round at the 2008 U.S. Club National Championships featured two blowout games and a classic touch of larceny when Illinois, ahead 6-2, fell victim to five consecutive one ends laid by Maryland. The venue is the five-sheet Mankato (Minn.) Curling Club. Wisconsin scored a six and two four-ends early to dominate Arizona, winning 16-2 in five ends. The Badgers are represented by Green Bay Curling Club members Joy Pahl, Erin Wallace, Kimberly Rhyme and Chloe Pahl, all of Green Bay. The Arizona rink is from the Coyotes Curling Club of Scottsdale, and includes Karen Tait (of Scottsdale), Carol Ann Naso (Fountain Hills), and Theresa Shaw and Gwen Gray (both of Scottsdale). New York defeated North Dakota 2 9-6 with a consistent attack of one and two scores in seven of the 10 ends. North Dakota's three points in the ninth end were not enough to overcome the deficit. New York's Ardsley Curling Club rink (Ardsley-on-Hudson is just up the river from Manhattan), includes Joyance Meechai (of New York city), Pauline Davies (Irvington), Sandra Gaffner (White Plains), and Lisabeth Sugahara (Dobbs Ferry). The North Dakota 2 squad hails from the Grafton Curling Club, and includes Mary Jaster, Jennifer Thompson, Jennifer Tibert, Marlene Niemann and Victoria Niemann (all of Grafton). Now for the larceny. In curling, a "steal" happens when a team scores without the last rock advantage. The Maryland rink, representing the Potomac Curling Club in Laurel, was behind 6-2 after five ends, scored one with hammer in the sixth, then stole the last four ends to edge Illinois 7-6. All seven of their points came on one-ends. The Potomac team includes Ann Drummie (Washington, D.C.), Joan Twigg (Severna Park, Md.), Rachel Treesh (Silver Spring, Md.) and Rachel Beyerle (Alexandria, Va.). Team Illinois, represents the Exmoor Curling Club, of Highland Park, with members Tracy Lawless (of Hawthorn Woods), Amy Brown (Deerfield), Leslie Earls (Lake Bluff) and Deborah Moulton (Lake Forest). Minnesota's two treys established an early 6-0 lead, then traded one's, then dropped a four-end on Texas in the sixth end, sealing their 11-2 victory over the Lone Star women. The Gophers, veterans at this championship, represent the Duluth Curling Club, with members Norma O'Leary (of Silver Bay), and Pam Cavers, Mary Johnson and Patti Luke (all of Duluth). The Texas rink, curling out of the Dallas-Fort Worth Curling Club, includes Judy Willingham of Cleburne, Linda Murphy (Longview), Kathleen Harlow (Fort Worth), Valerie McHugh (Aledo) and Marcie Alsobrooks of Ypsilanti, Mich. Team North Dakota 1 controlled their game against Ohio, winning 9-5. The North Dakota 1 rink curls out of the Grand Forks Curling Club, and includes Beth Bohlman, Susan Stern, Amy Bushaw, Nancy Rentfrow and Cindy Samson (all of Grand Forks). Ohio's foursome of Else Festersen (of Cuyahoga Falls), Debra Horn (Shaker Heights), Mary Jane Maisonville (Aurora) and Laurel Maurer (Sagamore Hills) do their league curling at the Mayfield Curling Club of South Euclid. Round robin play continues through Friday. Semifinals are set for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 8, followed by finals at 2 p.m. The U.S. Club Nationals, now in its fourth year, does not lead to the World Championships, rather rewards the top league-playing team in the U.S. The winners of the recent U.S. National Championships, which concluded last weekend in Hibbing, represent the U.S. at the Worlds. The Mankato Curling Club is located at 600 Hope Street in Mankato. Live scoring from the event can be found online at Line scores women's round 1: WI 406 42x xxx x 16 AZ* 020 00x xxx x 2 ND2* 100 020 003 0 6 NY 012 102 110 1 9 MD 100 101 111 1 7 IL* 021 030 000 0 6 MN 330 104 xxx x 11 TX* 001 010 xxx x 2 ND1 020 110 301 1 9 OH* 101 002 010 0 5 *last rock in first end Women's standings: 1-0 Maryland 1-0 Minnesota 1-0 New York 1-0 North Dakota 1 1-0 Wisconsin 0-1 Arizona 0-1 Illinois 0-1 North Dakota 2 0-1 Ohio 0-1 Texas 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: David Garber, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199.