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Potter and Haskell off to good start at Olympic Curling Trials

Bemidji sisters Cassie Potter and Jamie Haskell got off to a good start Saturday in their quest to return to the Olympic Games by winning at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Broomfield, Colo.

The Potter rink scored four points in the ninth end to finish off an 11-6 victory over the Cristin Clark rink of Washington. Clark scored four in the sixth end to erase a 5-1 deficit, but Potter answered with two in the seventh to take the lead for good.

The trials continue through Saturday, with the men's and women's winners earning berths in the 2010 Olympics at Vancouver.

Cassie (Johnson) Potter was the skip and Jamie (Johnson) Haskell was the vice skip for the 2006 U.S. Olympic team, which went 2-7 in the Winter Games at Turin, Italy. Both hailed from Bemidji at the time.

Now Cassie's hometown is Minneapolis and Jamie's is White Bear Lake.

Another Bemidji curler, Natalie Nicholson, also was victorious in Saturday's first draw. Nicholson is a member of the Debbie McCormick rink of Madison, Wis., which scored five in the seventh end and went on to defeat Charrissa Lin of New Haven, Conn., 10-6.

Bemidji's Sarah Lehman, playing on the Gillian Gervais rink of Bismarck, N.D., fell 8-7 to Patti Lank of Niagara Falls, N.Y., despite rallying from a 7-2 deficit.

Women's First Draw

Potter def. Clark 11-6

Wright def. Sormunen 5-4

Lank def. Gervaus 9-7

McCormick def. Lin 10-6

Brown def. O'Leary 8-7