Local curlers qualify for junior national meet

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  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:58am

Team Carson won consecutive games to capture the Washington State Junior Girls Curling Championships Dec. 30 at the Granite Curling Club in Seattle.

Ashley Carson (Lynnwood), Katie Higgins (Lynnwood), Katy Sharpe (Seattle) and Marissa Wright (Mukilteo) will now have a chance to play in front of a hometown crowd at the Junior Nationals on Feb. 3-10 at the Granite Curling Club.

Team Carson defeated Team Tomlinson (Corianna Tomlinson, Emily Bissonnette, Jackie Potter, Stephanie Potter) 17-5 on Dec. 30 and then won 18-1 later that day to wrap up the state title.

Carson was the team’s skip or captain. Higgins played the third, or vice-skip position, Sharpe played second and Wright was the team’s lead.

The Chris Pleasants rink of Chris Pleasants (Seattle), Cory Yalowicki (Bothell), Zach Radmer (Issaquah), Bret Nordlund (Issaquah) and Jon Chartrand (Issaquah) defeated the Sean Beighton rink to claim boys title on Dec. 31.

In a back-and-forth game, Sean Beighton’s team scored once in the ninth end to tie the score at 5-5. With the hammer (last rock advantage) the Pleasants team tried to keep the last end clean of rocks, but were facing two of Beighton’s rocks as counters on their final shot. Needing to hit his opponent’s rock on the far left side of the rings and stay in play to out-count a blue rock biting in the back of the house, Yalowicki made the perfect hit-and-stick shot, and his team celebrated with a 6-5 victory and a chance to represent their state with home-ice advantage in the Junior Curling Nationals in February.

For the winning team, Yalowicki threw the skip’s stones throughout the championship round, and won two games on his last shot. Pleasants was the skip, Radmer played second and Nordlund threw the lead stones. Chartrand was the team’s fifth or alternate player.

In a best two-out-of-three format, the Marjorie Yalowicki rink (Marjorie Yalowicki, Nancy Richard, Leslie Frosch, Lois Harness) defeated the Margreet deLeeuw rink (Margreet deLeeuw, Elizabeth Booth, Nancy Crowell, Dani Thibodeaux) in two straight games to win the senior women’s curling championship on Dec. 29.

After taking a commanding 10-0 lead after three ends in the first game, the teams decided to shake hands and start game two on the spot. Team Yalowicki picked up where they left off by scoring a huge six points in the first end of game two, but deLeeuw’s team fought back and made a game of it, pulling to within three points going into the final end. Yalowicki’s team hung on in the eighth end and wrapped up the tournament undefeated.

The Bob Knievel rink (Bob Knievel, Jay Booth, Mike Carlisle, Frank Edwards) needed only six ends to wrap up the senior men’s championship with a 10-5 victory over the Hall rink (Wendell Hall, Joe Fox, Bob Prince, Jerry Bird) on Dec. 31.

Team Knievel was able to break open a close game with a big five points in the fifth end, and the Hall team conceded before finishing the seventh end. With the victory, Knievel has now skipped the winning team to five of the last six Washington state senior men’s curling championships. This also marks the fifth men’s state senior championship for Booth, who played the vice-skip position.

The 2007 USCA Men’s Qualifier for the western region is currently underway at the Granite Curling Club. The winner of the qualifying tournament will receive an automatic entry into the U.S. National Curling Championships Feb. 17-24 at the Utica Curling Club in Utica, New York.

Five Seattle-based teams and one team from Utah will participate in the round-robin tournament with games concluding on Saturday evening. Tiebreakers, if necessary, will be played on Sunday. The complete schedule of games can be found at: www.usacurl.org/seattle.pdf. All games will be played at the Granite Curling Club, 1440 N. 128th Street in Seattle.

Three-time U.S. Men’s National Champion Jason Larway will be looking to make his 12th appearance in the National Championships, teaming up once again with his brother, Joel Larway. The Larways last won the U.S. National Championship in 2004, and also teamed up to win in 1992 and 2001. Larway will face some tough competition, including the Brady Clark rink. Clark has participated in the Olympic Curling Trials and has won the U.S. Mixed National Championship five of the last six years. The Chris Pleasants rink also will be competing.

The winner of the 2007 U.S. National Curling Championship will move on to represent the United States at the 2007 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship March 31-April 8 in Edmonton, Alberta.

The 2007 U.S. Women’s Curling Championships also will also take place in Utica. Seven women’s teams will be competing for a chance to represent the U.S. at the 2007 World Women’s Curling Championships March 17-25 in Aomori, Japan.

Seattle’s Cristin Clark and U.S. Curling Hall of Fame member Nancy Richard, both from Seattle’s Granite Curling Club, will skip teams into the Women’s National Championships. The women’s teams with local ties are Team Richard (Nancy Richard, Clare Cloutier, Leslie Frosch, Miyo Konno) and Team Clark (Cristin Clark, Charrissa Lin, Nina Reiniger, Janice Langanke).

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