2018 Nationals underway in Fargo

By Terry L. Davis | March 04, 2018, 6 p.m. (ET)


March 4, 2018


2018 National Championships underway in Fargo


(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Three draws of action at the 2018 USA Curling National Championships are in the books at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D.


In the men’s division, three familiar teams lead the field with 2-0 records – Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.), eight-time champion Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska).


The eight women’s teams to the ice this afternoon for their first round of competition. Defending champion Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.) led her team to a 6-3 win over Emily Anderson’s team. “It’s a great way to start,” said Alex Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), vice skip for Team Sinclair. “We know we like close games and are perfectly fine with that. Draw weight has been great and it just took us a little bit to get our lines to bury some of those draws around their guards. “


Sarah Anderson led the Cory Christensen rink to an 8-3 triumph over Kim Rhyme’s team. “It was a lot of fun to be out there out there back at Nationals. I think my team is really excited to be at Nationals and this competition, so it was nice to definitely get a ‘W’ under our belt to start,” said Anderson, who is in the skip role until Christensen arrives on Monday. Veteran Nationals competitor and Olympian Natalie Nicholson has been filling in while Christensen was at the Olympic Winter Games. “It’s fun to have the opportunity to fill in for Cory and to play with the girls. They’re a fun crew. It’s nice to be able to at Nationals again when you kind of think like, ‘oh’ I’m retired and take a year and a half off.’ It feels good and it’s always nice to play on our ice because our ice makers are the best,” Nicholson said.


Two of the younger skips in the field secured wins in the opening round as well as Christine McMakin (St. Paul, Minn.) defeated Beth Podoll’s North Dakota squad in an extra end, 8-7. Cora Farrell’s team got past Ann Podoll’s squad, 9-5.


The round robin action continues through Wednesday with the top four teams advancing to the Page playoffs.


A live webstream, produced by the 12th End Sports Network in partnership with USA Curling and the U.S. Olympic Committee, and live scores are posted at www.usacurl.org.


Men’s standings:

Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.)                     2-0

Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)                    2-0

Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska)           2-0

Nick Connolly (Seattle)                               1-1

Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario)         1-1

Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.)            1-1

Tucker Smith (Bismarck, N.D.)                   1-1

Jed Brundidge (West St. Paul, Minn.)      0-2

Scott Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.)                     0-2

Alex Leichter (Boston)                                0-2


Women’s standings:

Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.)             1-0

Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska)                1-0

Christine McMakin (St. Paul, Minn.)        1-0

Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.)                  1-0

Emily Anderson (Broomall, Pa.)                0-1

Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.)                             0-1

Beth Podoll (Fargo, N.D.)                           0-1

Kim Rhyme (Minneapolis, Minn.)             0-1


What’s at stake:

The weeklong national event features the top men’s and women’s teams in the country and helps determine Team USA for the subsequent World Championships. The 2018 World Men’s Championship will take place March 31-April 8 in Las Vegas, Nev., while the 2018 World Women’s Championship will be staged March 17-25 in North Bay, Ontario.


USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Cheetos, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, BalancePlus, ISS Ice, Sports & Solar, and Brakebush, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, and CurlingZone.




For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).