Saturday, March 14, 2009


It was a long, tough game, though pretty simple as we played lots of hits. We were under enough pressure just being in the game, I didn't want to start making circus shots in the first half. Both teams moved to a more cluttered game in the second half. We got a big end in the 8th and were able to hang on to seal the deal for bronze. As it turns out, we also won the LSD (last shot draw) for the week, too. Here's a photo of us with the gold medal winners, Minnesota 1.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Semi-finals vs. Minnesota 1

This was my first time ever in a semi-final, which right away was terrific. Alas, it was a bit of a whacking, as MN shot lights out and we were just a little off here and there. (1 ft difference can really kill you, as we proved today!) :) Tomorrow we have the bronze medal game against Winconsin at 2 pm EST. I'm hoping the experience from today will help us to relax and just play a curling game. I'm really grateful we'll get another chance at this so soon - it's great prep for the future. Thank you to everyone who has sent such nice emails! We appreciate the support! :)

Game 9 vs. MoPac (Hollywood) and the Playoffs

Fortunately, we were up 10-0 after 6 ends, so the hard part of the game was over quickly. The win put us into a tie at the top of the leaderboard at 7-2, and since we beat the other team (Wisconsin) during the round robin, unbelievably, that makes us the #1 seed going into the playoffs. Minn 1 and Minn 2 played a tiebreaker this afternoon and Minn 1 won, so we'll play them tonight at 8 pm EST. If we win, we play the gold medal match tomorrow at 2 pm, if we lose, we play in the bronze medal match at the same time. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Game 8 vs. Minnesota 2

Lost by 5 and surrendered after 8th. We played well, but they were on fire. Maybe we could have kept going and hoped for a miracle (or an earthquake) but we were taking a beating and decided to save our strength for tomorrow and the MoPac game. We need one win to be assured of a playoff spot, but we think we're at least guaranteed a tie-breaker opportunity.

Game 7 vs. GNCC 1 (Cape Cod)

In regions like Minnesota that have more than one berth in this event, they have two teams: Minnesota 1 and Minnesota 2. Minnesota 1 is the best out of the region, and 3 is the runner-up. We, also, like to think of ourselves as two teams: Washington 1 and Washington 2. Today, fortunately, Washington 1 came to play. We had some pieces of very helpful luck, but we did earn our victory this morning against GNCC 1 (Cape Cod.) They were excellent all-around shooters, though they said they felt like they were GNCC 2 or 3 today. We're now 6-1 and, unbelievably, alone at the top of the leader board. We think we're assured of at least a tie-breaker to get into the playoffs. This afternoon, we face Minnesota 2. Fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Games 5 & 6 - Penn and North Dakota

We're still alive!
After a long slog today, we held off the Pennsylvania and North Dakota to make it to 5-1, tied for the lead now, with Massachusetts. We play them first thing tomorrow morning. Should be exciting! (We hope!) :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Game 4 vs. Minnesota 1

Huge, huge win today against the #1 seed Minnesota 1 (Norma O'Leary - last year's winner.) Score 10-4 after 9. We're now in a 5-way tie for first place. And more importantly, we're off to the hot tub to loosen up and rest up. 5 more games to go - we just need to take it one shot at a time. This is the most games I've ever won in a national championship at any position, and this is the girls' first time at this kind of event, so we're in new territory all the time now.

Photos from Games 2 & 3

Cyndy found some spectators willing to take photos for us, so here are a few from Games 2 & 3. (There are also some shots of WA and other men's games, etc.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Game 3 vs. Michigan

Today was a good day. With a little help from the curling gods and a 5-ender, we pulled off another victory tonight over 9th ranked Michigan. (We're the 6th seed. Don't know that the rankings are all that accurate, but whatever. Right now we're 2-1) We need to sleep fast as we have a big game tomorrow against the Minnesota 1, who are the top seed and deservedly so! My first game ever skipping in a National was against Norma O'Leary, who is skipping MN1, and I played her twice during the Trials process (won in Challenge, lost at Trials) so it will be interesting to see how this goes. They're an excellent team, but on any given day....

Game 2 vs. Wisconsin

Got a win! 8-4 over the #2 team. We had our best game ever as a team and did a great job of never losing focus. The key now will be trying to maintain that level of focus going into the rest of the week - and it is a long, long week. Game 3 is tonight against Michigan at 8 pm EST.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Game 1 - vs. Illinois

Lost 3-10 or so (7 ends.) Well! :) It was a bit of "getting started" game. This is the first game my 3 teammates have ever played at a national event and on ice like this. (Curl is up to 8' on draws and speed is 24.5-25 sec.) Even though we didn't score in the second half, we definitely had a stronger second half as folks got more adjusted to the speed. We didn't hit a lot, as hits move a few feet with control weight, but we did make all the hits we tried - which was certainly impressive. Illinois was also very friendly and a lot of fun to curl with and hang with afterwards - so kudos to them for that! :) We're all feeling upbeat and looking forward to getting back out there in the morning. Our next game is at noon against Wisconsin.

Opening Ceremonies

Sorry for the lack of posts, we've been busy sleeping and napping in an effort to get ready for tonight's game against Illinois. We had a good practice last night and attended the opening ceremonies this morning. There won't be live scoring online, but I'll try to update this site with results ASAP. We're off to the club!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We're finally back home from the Trials and I've got a few more photos ready to go. Thank you again, everyone, for your support!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Final Games and What's Next

We played our final games on Wednesday against Team Amy Wright and Team Patty Lank - both of whom went on to the playoffs. When we played Wright, I think they were mostly likely in but looking at a possible tiebreaker; when we played Lank, they were already in the playoffs for sure. Both teams were quite nice and friendly. The Wright game was odd - we debated resigning after the sixth end, but then came back and nearly won. And the Lank game was a lot closer than the score looked - we just missed a shot here and there in the early going that would have put us in a much different position.

McCormick, Lank and Wright are still in the playoffs - Lank and Wright will play this afternoon, and the winner will play McCormick tomorrow in the finals. You can watch these games on TV on Universal Sports or live on their web site I'm currently working on getting more photos of the trials up online.

Next Friday, I fly to Utica for the Club National Championships with a different ladies team: Beth Coffin (3rd), Sara Skulec (2nd) and Cyndy Eng-Dinsel (lead), and I'll be skipping. In Club Nationals, teams must be made up of players from the same club, in our case, the Seattle Granite Curling Club. (Even though I live in CA, I've been playing in Seattle enough to qualify.) This will be the first time ever for my teammates in this kind of major competition and my second time skipping at Club Nationals. Again, for more details, check out my web site: in the days to come!

Thanks for following along and enjoy the semis and finals!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spoilers! (Day 4 wrap-up)

Alas, we're out of the running for the playoffs after two losses yesterday. In the morning game against Brown, we were shooting well and on a roll till an ugly debate over a burned rock killed our momentum. (Team Brown had a player fall in the house during a shot. After 20 minutes, the ruling was finally made to reset the stones and we got a 4-ender, but we didn't quite recover from all the standing around and arguing.) In the afternoon game, which was our last chance to get to 5-4 and hope for a tie breaker to get us to the playoffs, we just plain got out shot by Sormunen.

Oh well! We are all still having fun and looking forward to trying to be spoilers for Wright and Lank. At this point, both are looking likely to make the playoffs.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 3

(Photo: Jerome Larson and me. Jerome was my first curling instructor and is here as a photographer for the USCA. Jerome helped establish most of the arena clubs in the west and has been an official at the Olympics.)

We had a good day today. In both the morning game against Lin and the afternoon game against Gervais, we gave up big ends in the early going but came back strong in the second half to win. We needed to win these games to stay alive, but it was a bummer to have to beat these two particular teams. We have friends on both teams, and I think the Gervais girls are the sweetest, friendliest and classiest team in the event. They're also talented curlers. (These events aren't exactly socials - not between the women's teams, anyways. I think you can be a fierce competitor and still have a fun time with the other teams - and so do a few other folks - but for the most part, people are here to do business and keep to themselves.)

The ice has gotten better and better - curling 4-6' on draws and about 1' on "normal" hits.

Our team is now 2-3 with 4 games to play. For more information, stats and live scoring, check out the US Curling Association web site: For more on my team, go to:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day 2

We had a bit of a tough day today against McCormick in the morning and O'Leary in the afternoon. I think there was a little bit of fatigue going. But, everyone still feels upbeat and we can likely still make the semis if we get a win streak going. Thanks to everyone for their supportive emails. I'm off to bed!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sadly, we lost a very exciting game to Team Potter tonight. It was not a must-win for us, but it would certainly have been nice! We played well and just had a few mistakes here and there, but feel good about our prospects going forward. The talk in the locker room after the game was about how even the teams are this year. Normally, the first few games have lots of lopsided scores because the lowest seeds play the highest seeds. But there were no blowouts today! Amy Wright, the skip of Team Wright, said that it was the strongest field she'd ever seen.

Before the game, they held the opening ceremonies. A group of bag pipers led the teams out onto the ice, where an announcer introduced all the teams and recognized the players individually. The ceremonial first rock was thrown by a team of past women's champions.

(Many thanks to our photographer/assistant coach/Sharon's son & Emily's brother, Jake!)

More Practice Photos

My first slide out at the Trials! (This is from this morning's practice. More photos to come...)


We had a great practice this morning. The arena is warm! Not only do I not need my usual double parka and hat, but I think I'll be warm in just a light shirt. I love it! In a cold rink, I get stiff and cramp up between shots, especially in the early going. I feel fabulous and relaxed out there. It's also very quiet on the ice - no compressor or heater noises, and the fabric stadium seats muffle sound so much, it's almost like being in a sound-proof booth back at work. The ice is quick - about 24-24.5 and curls a lot. It's about 5 1/2 - 6' on a draw and 2-3' on a normal hit.

Here are some photos from practice. The ladies in the pink/maroon are Team Lank, and in the other photo, you can see some of the gals from O'Leary and Potter getting ready. This afternoon, we have the team meeting, opening ceremonies and then our first game against Potter. (For non-curlers, Team Potter includes Cassie Johnson Potter and Jamie Johnson Haskel, who played in the 2006 Olympics.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sharon, Em, Jake and I went over to check out the arena this morning. It is magical. It looks like an Olympic venue, which was the USCA's intent. This is the first time they have held the Trials in an arena and are doing it precisely to make it more like the Olympics in hopes of elevating and promoting curling in the US and to better prepare the winning teams for 2010. The final photo is from the President's Welcome Reception. Unfortunately, we heard the sad news that former USCA President Chris Moore lost his battle with cancer this morning. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Arrived in Denver

I arrived in Denver at around 11 tonight and my teammates Em, Sharon and our newly appointed assistant coach (and Sharon's son/Em's brother) Jake were waiting for me. They'd brought my jacket and patches with them from Seattle.
I can't stop staring at the Olympic Trials patch and am trying to restrain myself from sleeping with it!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Last Chance Practice

I'm in Seattle and just got off the ice after my last practice before Trials. I feel good, and if I can just get everything back in my luggage, I'll be good to go! Two of my teammates, Sharon and Emily, are already on their way to Denver. I fly in a few hours and Cristin will arrive with her husband's team tomorrow. All the club members here at Granite have been incredibly supportive, as have the folks in SF - I couldn't ask for a better send off.
And one more note - today is the third anniversary of my first time trying curling. It's hard to believe I've made it this far and am on my way to the Olympic Trials!