Fenson gets first two wins at World Trials, Schultz falls
The defending champion Pete Fenson rink broke into the win column twice on Sunday at the World Team Trials, beating Todd Birr 8-4 and Troy Schroeder 6-5 in 11 ends at the Curling Club.
In the women's division, the Jessica Schultz rink dropped its opening match 8-4 to Margie Smith of Duluth.
The wins lifted Fenson into a tie fifth place, one game out of first in the round robin.
Four teams are tied for first at 3-1.
In other Sunday morning matches, Craig Brown turned back Greg Eigner 8-2 and Craig Disher beat Rich Ruohonen of Brooklyn Park 8-4. Troy Schroeder beat Don Barcome Jr. 9-3 and Jason Larway stopped Paul Pustovar 9-4 in the other games.
In the Sunday evening draw, Fenson tied the match with one in the 10th, then stole a point in the 11th for the victory. Ruohonen defeated Brown 7-5, Barcome downed Eigner 10-7, Larway bested Birr 9-5 and Pustovar topped Disher 9-6.
Sunday morning draw
Fenson fell behind 2-0 in the third but took the lead with one in the fourth and a pair in the fifth.
After Birr tied it in the sixth, Fenson ran home two in the seventh and never trailed, widening a 5-4 lead with a pair in the ninth and stealing the final point in the tenth.
Brown opened fast to stay unbeaten, laying three in the second and stealing one in the third. Eigner came back with singletons in the fourth and fifth but Brown matched those with a pair in the sixth and ended the match three ends early with another pair in the seventh. Eigner conceded.
Disher also led from the start, taking a 3-0 lead after two and matching Ruohonen's pair in the third with two in the fourth.
The pair traded singletons in the fifth and sixth and Disher closed out the match with a pair in the ninth to end matters early.
Schroeder broke a 3-3 tie with two in the fifth and stole two more in the sixth and one in the seventh and eighth to end the day.
Larway stole three in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead over Pustovar and closed out his match with three more in the seventh.
The veteran Pustovar, a national champion in 1980, 98 and 2002, remained the only winless team in the meet.
Schultz, taking over as skip for Cassie Johnson for the defending national championship rink, stayed with Smith through six ends, tied 3-3 at that point.
But Smith scored twice in the seventh and after yielding a point in the eighth ran home three in the ninth to take command.
Joining Smith in the winners column were Aileen Sormunen of Duluth, Patti Lank of New York and Cristin Clark of Washington.
Amy Wright, with Bemidji's Monica Matson and Sarah Lehman curling second and third, overcame a 7-3 deficit to Sormunen with a pair in the eighth and three in the ninth to lead 8-7.
But Sormunen had the hammer and used it for two in the 10th to win.
The 2004 national junior champ made the World Trials when she failed to win the state title in the junior division this year, missing the national meet which also is being held this week.
Lank, dropped a five spot on Norma O'Leary in the third and closed out the match with three in the eighth for a 10-3 victory.
Clark handed Deb McCormick an 8-3 setback breaking a 3-3 tie with a pair in the eighth and stealing one in the ninth and two in the tenth.
McCormick is the 2003 national champ and curled second on Kari Erickson's 2001 national champions from Bemidji.
Bemidjian Natalie Simenson Nicholson is her lead. Nicholson previously curled with both Wright and Lank.
Schultz goes against O'Leary at 9 this morning and faces Lank at 7 this evening.