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CURLING: Sinclair ends round robin unbeaten at Nationals

FARGO, N.D. -- Jamie Sinclair’s team finished round-robin play undefeated at 7-0 Wednesday to secure the top seed in the women’s playoffs at the 2018 USA Curling National Championships in Fargo, N.D.

The Sinclair rink defeated Ann Podoll’s team 8-1 to wrap up the round robin at Scheels Arena and receives a bye to the final Saturday, March 10. The Cora Farrell and the Cory Christenson rinks each finished at 5-2 will meet in a semifinal Friday, March 9, with the winner advancing to the final.

Beth Podoll’s Fargo team, which includes Emily Quello of Bemidji, finished round-robin play at 3-4 after Wednesday’s matches and will end the tournament in fifth place. Beth Podoll defeated her sister Ann’s team 6-4 in the morning before falling 7-2 to Team Christenson in the afternoon.

In the men’s division, Heath McCormick’s team and Greg Persinger’s rink were tied for first place at 7-1 entering the final draw Wednesday night. Todd Birr’s team sat in third place at 5-3 with four teams tied at 4-4 for fourth place, including Pete Fenson’s Bemidji rink.

Team Fenson, which also includes Bemidji’s Alex Fenson and Mark Fenner, plus Shawn Rojeski of Chisholm, fell 5-4 to Nicholas Connolly’s Seattle team in the afternoon draw. The game came down to the last rock as Connolly scored two in the 10th end after a measurement determined a second red stone was closer to the button than a yellow one, giving the Seattle team the win by one.

The men’s round robin concluded with the final draw Wednesday night. Results were not available at press time. The top four teams advance to the playoffs.

Any tiebreaker matches will be played today, if needed, with the men’s Page playoffs set for tonight. Semifinals will be held Friday, March 9, with the finals scheduled for Saturday, March 10.

A live webstream and live scores are available at www.usacurl.org.

US women win two at World Juniors

ABERDEEN, Scotland -- The U.S. women picked up a pair of round-robin wins Wednesday at the 2018 World Junior Curling Championships in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.) and the American women, including Bemidji’s Leah Yavarow, defeated Korea 8-6 in the morning session and topped Scotland 11-4 in the evening. The victories improve the U.S. to 4-4 with one more game left in round-robin play today.

The American women will face China (4-4) in the final draw of the round robin today. Both teams are in a five-way tie for third place with spots in Friday’s playoffs on the line.

Sweden sits in first place in the women’s division at 8-0 with Canada in second at 7-1.

The American men skipped by Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) earned a share of second place in the standings with a 9-7 win over Germany on Wednesday. The U.S. men’s team, including Bemidji’s Graem Fenson, moved to 5-2 with the win and are now tied with Canada for second place through seven round-robin matches. Scotland tops the standings at 7-0.

The Americans will battle Switzerland (4-3) and Norway (3-4) to conclude round-robin play Thursday.

Live scores and standings are available at www.worldcurling.org.

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

(218) 333-9787
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