USA Curling Features Sinclair and Shuster...

Sinclair and Shuster remain perfect in Kalamazoo

Feb. 11, 2019, 11:02 p.m. (ET)


Feb. 11, 2019


Shuster, Sinclair rinks out front at 2019 National Championships


(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) – Jamie Sinclair and John Shuster are the lone undefeated teams as they lead their respective divisions at the 2019 USA Curling National Championships.


Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) took down Rich Ruohonen’s rink, 8-3, in the battle of the two undefeated teams tonight at Wings Event Center.


There wasn’t really added pressure, we just haven’t played those guys this year, I don’t think,” Plys said about the matchup. “We just wanted to make sure we played a strong game and let them know we’re ready for this week.”


Team Shuster is a perfect 5-0 with four games remaining in the round robin to determine the playoff contenders.


They’re a really good team. So the only way you’re going to beat this team is giving yourself a chance and have some better rock placement going in,” Plys said.


Ruohonen’s squad drops to 3-1 and into a tie for second place with Todd Birr’s team, which secured another victory tonight when they scored in the extra end to defeat Chase Sinnett’s rink.


In women’s competition this afternoon, Jamie Sinclair took sole possession of first place with an 8-7 win over Cory Christensen’s team. Sinclair and teammates Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.) are now 3-0 in the seven-game round robin.


“I think we just keep playing our game,” Walker said. “Our goal is to be at the top of the round robin at the end. We just have to do business as usual and keep playing our game.”


Eighteen-year-old Sam Strouse, the youngest skip in the field, earned his first men’s national championship win when his junior team defeated Jed Brundidge’s squad, 7-6.


“A big focus for us was just doing something better than the last game. Early on we kind of struggled with the ice, the swing and the speed of it. But, we’ve really done something better every single game,” said Strouse, who is a senior in high school. It’s really nice, we have people watching at home. It was cool when I texted people and I said ‘hey we’re going to be on the livestream, if you want to watch us, that’d be really cool so it’s really good to just not disappoint anybody.”


Steven Birklid’s team bounced back from a loss earlier today as they handed Mark Fenner’s team its third straight loss. Scott Dunnam’s team snapped its three-game losing skid with a 6-4 victory over Brandon Corbett.


“We really needed a win. Sitting at 1-3 before that game, so we really needed to make up a win and hopefully keep all the wins coming,” Dunnam said. “It’s always fun playing the Corbetts. We’ve known them since we were little.”


Stephanie Senneker improved to 2-1 to place her team in a four-way tie for second place behind Team Sinclair after getting past Ann Podoll’s team, 9-4. Fifteen stones were in play when Podoll went to throw the final stone of the ninth end. The only hope to score was to be successful with a very difficult long in-off shot in hopes of getting out of the end with a point. The result was a stolen point for Team Senneker and the win.


The main thing for us is to just keep doing what we’re doing and keep executing shots,” Senneker said. “We want to execute a little bit better and focus on our stones, focus on what we’re doing and not what the other team is doing. The main thing is we can only control what we’re doing and make the best of it.”


Nina Roth’s team got back in the win column with a 9-3 victory over Kim Rhyme’s rink while Annmarie Dubberstein’s team won its second straight as they defeated Ariel Traxler, 9-3.


Action continues on Tuesday with game sessions at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


Men’s 7 p.m. results: Dunnam 6, Corbett 4; Shuster 8, Ruohonen 3; Strouse 7, Brundidge 6; Birr 6, Sinnett 5 (extra end); Birklid 8, Fenner 6


Women’s 2 p.m. results: Senneker 9, Podoll 4; Dubberstein 9, Traxler 3; Roth 9, Rhyme 3; Sinclair 8, Christensen 7


Men’s 9 a.m. results: Birr 8, Strouse 3; Sinnett 8, Fenner 6 (extra end); Shuster 9, Birklid 5; Ruohonen 5, Corbett 2; Brundidge 10, Dunnam 6


Men’s standings:

John Shuster (Superior, Wis.)                   5-0

Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.)                     4-1

Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)   4-1

Steven Birklid (Seattle)                               2-3

Brandon Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.)           2-3

Scott Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.)                    2-3

Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.)                  2-3

Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.)               2-3

Jed Brundidge (West St. Paul, Minn.)      1-4

Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.)                  1-4


Women’s standings:

Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario)           3-0

Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.)             2-1

Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.)   2-1

Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.)                     2-1

Stephanie Senneker (Port Huron, Mich.) 2-1

Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.)                            1-2

Kim Rhyme (Minneapolis, Minn.)             0-3

Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska)               0-3


How to watch: Live action from each draw is featured at in partnership with the 12th End Sports Network and the United States Olympic Committee.


Live scores & social media: Live scores are posted at in partnership with CurlingZone. The official event hashtag is #2019Nats.


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




For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile).

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