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!