FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 11, 2019
Undefeated teams set to clash today at 2019 National Championships
(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) – Undefeated teams led by Rich Ruohonen and John Shuster will do battle tonight as the men’s round robin sweeps into the second half of the 2019 USA Curling National Championships.
Defending champion Ruohonen and his team of Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colin Hufman (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Phil Tilker (Seattle) got past Brandon Corbett’s squad, 5-2, to improve to 4-0. Shuster’s team kept pace with a 9-5 victory over Steven Birklid’s team from Seattle.
Jed Brundidge’s squad secured its first win of the tournament as they swept Scott Dunnam’s team, 10-6.
“It’s nice to get the monkey off the back,” Brundidge said. “We struggled a little bit the first few games. I think we got our feet under us now. Hopefully, there’s a few more wins after this.”
Brundidge and his team of Jordan Brown (Elk River, Minn.), Evan Workin (Fargo, N.D.), Cameron Rittenour (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Parker Shook (Oakdale, Minn.) took an early lead and stole two points late in the game to get into the win column.
“I think we were a little tight the first few games. It’s a big event. Everyone kind of gets hyped up a little bit,” Brundidge said. “We talked about it last night, relaxed a bit and it showed today.”
Todd Birr led his squad to an 8-3 triumph over Sam Strouse’s rink to improve to 3-1 and in the playoff mix.
“I try to play my game instead of playing what the other skip doesn’t want to play, and if they want to keep up with what I want to play, then fine. If not then we’ll force them,” Birr said. “Five-rock rule, it’s really changed things. You’re almost forced to play aggressive and to take chances. Even if things go wrong you can still get three in the next end so it almost pays off to be aggressive more than it used to.”
In the first extra end game of the championship, Chase Sinnett’s team rallied to defeat Mark Fenner, 8-6, with two perfectly placed skip stones in the 11th end that forced Fenner’s squad into a more difficult draw that ended up being heavy.
“We certainly respect them for their experience, they’re all great players and we played them before this year so we’re going to keep going and as long as we execute we’ll be right in this,” said Trevor Marquardt, vice skip for Team Sinnett.
The win improves Team Sinnett to 2-2 and in a three-way tie for fourth place with playoff hopes on the line.
“I think we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. Two in a row now, we got to keep the momentum going, and we’re looking for our third. They’re a really good team, but we played really well too,” Marquardt said.
In women’s competition last night, Jamie Sinclair and Cory Christensen kept their records perfect to share the top spot in the standings. Sinclair and her team of Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.) rallied to steal a 9-6 win over Olympian Nina Roth’s team.
“It was part of our game plan to try to be patient out there and wait for our opportunities,” said Sinclair, who is seeking her third straight women’s national title. “That’s why there were a few simpler ends, but yeah, just waiting for our opportunities and when they presented themselves, we definitely capitalized.”
Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Jenna Martin (Wauwatosa, Wis.) and Madison Bear (Minneapolis, Minn.) earned an 11-5 victory over Kim Rhyme’s team to improve to 2-0.
Stephanie Senneker’s team improved to 1-1 with a last-rock draw to defeat Alaska’s Ariel Traxler rink, 7-6. Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.) also led her team to a 7-5 triumph over Ann Podoll’s Fargo squad to level their record at 1-1.
“We’re happy we got our first win. There were a few ends in there where we were like, ‘Oh.’ Our fourth end was something we want to forget, but most of that game we thought we were in control,” Dubberstein said. “So, we can just take what we learned from this game about the ice, about how we’re feeling and use it as momentum for the next games.”
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
Women’s 8 p.m. results: Senneker 7, Traxler 6; Sinclair 9, Roth 6; Dubberstein 7, Podoll 5; Christensen 11, Rhyme 5
Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) 4-0
John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) 4-0
Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.) 3-1
Brandon Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) 2-2
Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.) 2-2
Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.) 2-2
Steven Birklid (Seattle) 1-3
Jed Brundidge (West St. Paul, Minn.) 1-3
Scott Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.) 1-3
Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.) 0-4
Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) 2-0
Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario) 2-0
Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.) 1-1
Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.) 1-1
Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.) 1-1
Stephanie Senneker (Port Huron, Mich.) 1-1
Kim Rhyme (Minneapolis, Minn.) 0-2
Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska) 0-2
How to watch: Live action from each draw is featured at https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/webstream in partnership with the 12th End Sports Network and the United States Olympic Committee.
Live scores & social media: Live scores are posted at www.usacurl.org 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).