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Curling: Two Bemidjians on first-place teams at Olympic Trials

Two Bemidji curlers are in first place after three days at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Broomfield, Colo.

Natalie Nicholson of Bemidji is a member of the Debbie McCormick rink, which is 5-0 after posting two more victories on Monday.

On the men's side, Bemidji's Mark Haluptzok is in the thick of things as a member of the Tyler George rink of Duluth. George won two matches Monday and moved into a first-place tie at 4-1 after previousy unbeaten Todd Birr of Mankato lost in the late night draw.

The championship men's and women's teams will represent the United States in the 2010 Olympics at Vancouver.

Bemidji sisters Cassie (Johnson) Potter and Jamie (Johnson) Haskell are 3-1 after splitting their two matches on Sunday and again on Monday.

Bemidji's Sarah Lehman is on the Gillian Gervais rink, which is 1-4.

Monday draws

McCormick opened Monday's play with a 6-4 win over Norma O'Leary, then edged Amy Wright 6-5 in the evening draw.

Potter's foursome lost for the second time Monday morning, bowing to Amy Wright 10-6, but bounced back to defeat Erika Brown 9-7.

Potter, with sister Jamie Haskell curling third, battled back from a 4-2 deficit to score four in the eighth to go ahead.

But Wright came back with three in the ninth for a 7-6 lead and stole three more in the tenth to win after Potter came up short with her final stone trying for one to tie the count.

In the evening match, Potter rallied again, this time scoring three in the fifth and then breaking a 6-6 tie with two in the eighth. After Brown scored one in the ninth, Potter put it away with a single in the 10th.

Gervais stopped Aileen Sormunen 7-5 in the morning before falling to Clark 7-6 in the evening.

On the men's side, George needed only four ends to dispatch Craig Disher 8-1 in the afternoon draw. The late night match was much more exciting as George scored two in the 10th to tie Craig Brown of Madison, Wis., and then added one in the extra end to win it 10-9.

In the shocker of the day, previously winless Christopher Plys of Duluth handed Birr his first loss 7-5.

Sunday draws

O'Leary handed Potter her first loss Sunday morning 8-4 while Wright, Brown and McCormick reached 2-0.

Brown beat Gervais 6,3, Wright defeated Lank 10-9 and McCormick stopped Clark 10-3.

Sormunen also won for the first time 11-8 over Lin.

In the afternoon draw, Potter rebounded to spill Lin 10-5 taking a 6-0 lead after three, all on steals, and wrapping up the win with two in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Brown and McCormick stayed unbeaten, Brown stopping Wright 9-5 in a battle of unbeatens and McCormick turning back Gervais 9-5. Sormunen fell to Lank and O'Leary beat Clark in the other matches.

In the men's division, Birr finished the second draw as the only unbeaten with an 8-6 win over Deeren. George beat Shuster, 9-2, Farbelow turned back Brown 9-2, Romamiuk defeated Johnson 8-6 and Plys beat Disher 8-7,

Brown, the defending champion, was the only winless team after the draw.

Birr stayed unbeaten with a 5-3 win over Shuster Sunday night while Disher, Farbelow and George remained a game back.

Disher beat Deeren 7-5. Farbelow turned back Plys 8-2 and George won over Johnson 8-6. Brown entered the win column with an 8i7 decision over Romamiuk,.

Saturday openers

Johnson made his American debut by knocking off Plys 8-4, scoring once in the sixth to tie and stealing one in the seventh and three in the eighth to end matters early.

Brown, the defending national champ, got into trouble in the tenth and over swept the final stone allowing Deeren to steal a point and win 9-6.

The 2007 world bronze medalist Birr picked up an 8-6 win over George with a double takeout in the 10th which prevented George from scoring four.

Disher jumped to an early 5-1 lead over Farbelow and never lost it in an 8-4 victory.

And 2006 Olympic bronze medalist Shuster (playing for Pete Fenson's rink that year), only scored in three ends but they included a four and three in an 8-5 win over Romaniuk.


Men's Division

1st Draw

Disher 8, Farbelow 4

Birr 8, George 6

Shuster 8, Romaniuk 5

Deeren 9, Brown 6

Johnson 8, Plys 4

2nd Draw

Romaniuk 8, Johnson 6

Plys 8, Disher 7

Birr 8, Deeren 6

George 9, Shuster 2

Farbelow 9, Brown 2

3rd Draw

Birr 5, Shuster 3

Disher 7, Deeren 5

Brown 8, Romaniuk 7

George 8, Johnson 6

Farbelow 8, Plus 2

4th Draw

George 8, Disher 1

Farbelow 7, Dereen 0

Brown 8, Plys 5

Birr 8, Romaniuk 5

Shuster 5, Johnson 4

5th Draw

Dereen 7, Shuster 4

George 10, Brown 9

Romaniuk 9, Farbelow 8

Johnson 10, Disher 7

Plys 7, Birr 5


Birr, George 4-1, Farbelow 3-2, Disher, Brown, Shuster, Romaniuk, Johnson, Dereen, Plys 2-3.

Women's Division

2nd Draw

Brown 6, Gervais 3

O'Leary 8, Potter 4

Sormunen 11, Lin 8

Wright 10. Lank 9

McCormick 10, Clark 3

3rd Draw

McCormick 9, Gervais 5

Potter 10, Lin 5

O'Leary 7, Clark 3

Brown 7, Wright 5

Lank 8, Sormunen 6

4th Draw

Wright 10, Potter 8

McCormick 8, O'Leary 4

Lank 9, Brown 6

Clark 8, Lin 7 (x)

Gervais 7, Sormunen 6

5th Draw

Lank 8, Lin 3

McCormick 6, Wright 5

Clark 7, Gervais 6

Potter 9, Brown 7

Sormunen 8, O'Leary 4


McCormick 5-0, Lank 4-1, Potter, Brown, Wright 3-2, Sormunen, O'Leary, Clark 2-3, Gervais 1-4, Lin 0-5.