USA Curling Features Shuster and Sinclair...

Shuster and Sinclair keep perfect records intact

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 12, 2019, 6:03 p.m. (ET)


Feb. 12, 2019


Two teams still perfect at 2019 National Championships


(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) – Jamie Sinclair and John Shuster continued their undefeated marches through the 2019 USA Curling National Championships after securing more wins today at Wings Event Center.


In women’s competition this morning, Jamie Sinclair pushed her win streak to four straight with a 9-3 victory over Kim Rhyme’s team. Keeping in good position for the playoff chase, teams skipped by Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) and Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.) also won their matches to improve to 3-1. Christensen and her team of Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Jenna Martin (Wauwatosa, Wis.) and Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.) picked up a 9-3 win over Stephanie Senneker’s team. Roth’s Olympic squad defeated Annmarie Dubberstein’s junior team, 8-4.


Ariel Traxler, 19 and the youngest female skip in the field, led her team to its first victory as they defeated Ann Podoll’s squad from Fargo, N.D., by a 13-5 score.


“It feels good to have a win under our belt. We read the ice a little better this game,” said Traxler, who is a student at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. “I think we were just waiting to finally put all the pieces together. We were really close in all our other games. We were able to put all those pieces together this game and it worked out in the end.”


Shuster and teammates Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) scored two points with the final stone of the game to defeat Jed Brundidge’s team, 6-5.


I feel like we’ve used more energy in the last two games than the first four combined. Why that is, I don’t know, I guess just because they’re tighter games, and there’s a larger spread early on in the game and you get more relaxed probably, yeah it takes a lot out of us, but I think we’re ready to get two in tomorrow,” said Landsteiner.


The win improves Team Shuster to 6-0 as they inch toward securing a playoff berth.


“We just make sure we’re focused on our game and not worried about who we’re playing,” Landsteiner said. “Everybody is out here to do their best and we have to do the same, otherwise if you let yourself down even for a little bit they can come back and score one or score two and, boom, you lost game over.”


Todd Birr and Rich Ruohonen also notched wins to keep pace with Shuster’s rink as both teams improved to 5-1 with three games remaining in the round robin to determine Friday’s playoff teams.


Birr and teammates Greg Johnson (Appleton, Wis.), Hunter Clawson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Tom O’Connor (Robbinsdale, Minn.) picked up another extra-end win as they made a takeout to defeat Brandon Corbett’s squad, 7-5.


Steve Birklid’s Seattle rink evened its record to 3-3 after holding off Chase Sinnett’s team, 6-5. Mark Fenner snapped a three-game losing skid to also improve to 3-3.


We just kind of tried to forget about what happened yesterday, we missed a couple, things didn’t go our way so we wanted to focus on what we could control moving forward, take it one game and a time and it’s in our hands now,” said Howell, who finished second at last year’s Nationals. “We just tried simplifying it. We hadn’t been playing at our highest level so we said let’s keep it simple and get a lead early and if we get an opportunity to get a big score, let’s take it and see where it goes from there.”


Ruohonen’s team defeated Sam Strouse’s rink, 9-2, in a game fueled by steals for the defending champions. Retired Pro Bowl National Football Player Jared Allen (Nashville, Tenn.) made his curling national championship debut in the sixth end as he subbed in for Team Ruohonen’s Phil Tilker at lead.


Men’s 2 p.m. results: Ruohonen 9, Strouse 2; Birklid 6, Sinnett 5; Birr 7, Corbett 5 (extra end); Fenner 7, Dunnam 4; Shuster 6, Brundidge 5


Women’s 9 a.m. results: Traxler 13, Podoll 5; Roth 8, Dubberstein 4; Sinclair 9, Rhyme 3; Christensen 9, Senneker 5


Women’s standings:

Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario)           4-0

Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.)             3-1

Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.)                     3-1

Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.)   2-2

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

Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.)                            1-3

Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska)               1-3

Kim Rhyme (Minneapolis, Minn.)             0-4


Men’s standings:

John Shuster (Superior, Wis.)                    6-0

Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.)                     5-1

Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)   5-1

Steven Birklid (Seattle)                               3-3

Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.)                  3-3

Brandon Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.)           2-4

Scott Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.)                     2-4

Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.)               2-4

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

Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.)                  1-5


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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