Finals set at 2019 Junior Nationals

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 18, 2019, 11:02 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 18, 2019

Championship finals set at 2019 Junior Nationals

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Four teams remain in contention to win the 2019 USA Curling Junior National Championships after the semifinals concluded tonight in Two Harbors, Minn.

Cait Flannery’s team (6-2) defeated Ariel Traxler’s rink, 7-1, to advance to tomorrow’s 1 p.m. final against Annmarie Dubberstein’s team (6-1). Nick Steinhaus led his team to a 5-4 victory over Andrew McDonald to advance to the men’s final against Andrew Stopera’s undefeated rink. Because there is a double knockout provision in place, the first men’s final will be at 9 a.m. If needed, a second final would be played at 1 p.m. The winners will represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Junior Championships Feb. 16-24 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Flannery (Mankato, Minn.) and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), and Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) patiently waited for an opportunity to score two points and hung it in the fourth end. Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska) and her team of Emily Quello (Bemidji, Minn.), Susan Dudt (Malvern, Pa.), and Rebecca Rodgers (Leyden, Mass.) got into trouble in the next two ends and gave Team Flannery four points in steals before getting on the board with a single point in the seventh. After Team Flannery took another point in the eighth end, the Traxler rink conceded the lopsided match.

In contrast, the men’s semifinal match went down to the final stone. Steinhaus (Mapleton, Minn.), Skyler Slusar (Hallock, Minn.), Ethan Sampson (Edmore, N.D.), and Mitch Wilson (Delafield, Wis.) had a two-point lead and the last rock going into the final end. Needing to steal two to force an extra end, Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.), JP Munich (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio), and Ryan Elwing (Brookfield, Wis.) got two stones staggered across the rings but no guards when Steinhaus got into the hack to throw the final stone. A simple takeout of one stone awarded the win and a trip to the final for the Steinhaus rink.

Stopera’s team went 11-0 to win last year’s Junior Nationals and are currently 7-0 at this year’s event. Dubberstein, Burchesky and Howell won the junior women’s title last year. Follow along on championship Saturday as a live webstream and scores will be featured on www.usacurl.org.

Line scores, semifinals:

Ariel Traxler       000 000 10x x – 1

*Cait Flannery   000 213 01x x – 7

Nick Steinhaus                100 022 000 0 – 5

*Andrew McDonald       010 100 010 1 – 4

*last rock in first end

Finalists:

Team Steinhaus: Nick Steinhaus (Mapleton, Minn.), Skyler Slusar (Hallock, Minn.), Ethan Sampson (Edmore, N.D.), Mitch Wilson (Delafield, Wis.)

Team Stopera: Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Luc Violette (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Issaquah, Wash.), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Riley Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Dubberstein: Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska), Jenna Burchesky (Walpole, Mass.), Allison Howell (Solon, Ohio)

Team Flannery: Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.), Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.)

Social media:

#2019JrNats

#curling

More information about the 2019 Junior Nationals can be found at https://go.teamusa.org/2yeW6t0 and http://twoharborscurling.com/2019-junior-nationals/.

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

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).