Flannery rink sweeps to first junior national title

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 19, 2019, 6:05 p.m. (ET)


Jan. 19, 2019

Flannery rink wins 2019 Junior Nationals

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – With the final stone of the 2019 USA Curling Junior National Championships, four brand new champions were crowned as Cait Flannery led her team to the gold medal in Two Harbors, Minn.

Flannery (Mankato, Minn.), 19, and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.) and Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) drew into the house for a one-point victory over defending champion Annmarie Dubberstein.

Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), who won the junior women’s title in 2017 as skip and 2018 as vice skip, made two fantastic shots in the ninth end to set up the thrilling final end at the Two Harbors Curling Club.

Flannery’s team controlled the majority of the game and put themselves in the perfect spot to win their first junior titles. The team will now represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Junior Championships next month in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada, along with the Andrew Stopera rink, which won the men’s title earlier today.

The Dubberstein rink was limited to a single in the opening end but quickly added another point. The second end was headed toward a blank until Flannery’s final stone rubbed on a center guard and the takeout was null as Team Dubberstein stole a point.

Flannery, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games and was twice runner-up at Junior Nationals, took advantage of a missed takeout in the fourth end to draw in for two points and tie the game. A missed takeout in the fifth end by Dubberstein, a student at the University of Minnesota, gave Team Flannery a single steal to take the lead. Flannery’s team continued to apply pressure and had the force of one going on in the sixth end. Dubberstein eventually set herself up for a chance for two but the draw slipped to the back of the four-foot as the team settled for one instead.

Team Flannery worked hard to set up a deuce in the eighth end to maintain control of the game. When Dubberstein’s freeze attempt wasn’t precise enough, Flannery used the hammer to remove the lone opposing rock for a 5-3 advantage with two ends to go.

The ninth end was again controlled by Team Flannery until Dubberstein converted a great tap-back with her first stone to finally get rid of the opposing team’s shot rock in the four-foot. Flannery’s draw was heavy, giving Dubberstein a skip’s deuce as she drew into the four-foot.

In the 10th, Team Dubberstein worked to set up a steal as they were able to keep a long center guard in play when it got to skip stones. Dubberstein’s first draw behind that guard just barely got into the top of the 12 foot. Flannery’s team opted to ignore it and try to draw into the four-foot behind the guard to get into winning position. However, Flannery’s stone was heavy and swept out of the back of the house. Dubberstein’s second draw attempt also was light and ended up just above her stone in the 12-foot, giving Flannery a relatively open draw for the win.


Curtis Cup Awards for Sportsmanship were presented to Team Flannery and Team Hipke.

Team Hipke: Tyler Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Danny Casper (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Connor Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Matthew Rosenbloom (Scarsdale, N.Y.)

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

The Katie Beck Memorial Award presented to an outstanding second was given to Andrew McDonald.

The new Bev Schroeder Memorial Junior Curler Awards for two outstanding rookies were presented to Emma Rau and Tyler Hipke. The award honors the late Bev Schroeder, who coached the women’s team to the Junior Nationals gold medal the past two seasons and coached many other junior teams over three decades. A scholarship fund – separate from the Junior Nationals awards – was created in December. More details about how to apply for the college scholarships will be available soon at www.usacurl.org.

Line scores, women’s final:

*Annmarie Dubberstein               101 001 002 0 – 5

Cait Flannery                               000 210 020 1 – 6

*last rock in first end     

Gold medalists:

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.), Coach Mark Lazar (Toledo, Ohio)

Team Flannery: Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.), Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Bill Rhyme (Green Bay, Wis.)

Silver medalists:

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

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

Bronze medalists:

Team Strouse: Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.), JP Munich (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio), Ryan Elwing (Brookfield, Wis.)

Team Traxler: Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska), Emily Quello (Bemidji, Minn.), Susan Dudt (Malvern, Pa.), Rebecca Rodgers (Leyden, Mass.) 

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.


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