New champion to be crowned at US Mixed Doubles Nationals in Bismarck

New champion to be crowned at US Mixed Doubles Nationals in Bismarck

December 9, 2012 - 12:00am -- Tom Fitz Gerald

Minnesota rinks move on to quarterfinals at Mixed Doubles Championship in Bismarck

(BISMARCK, N.D.) - There will be a new team wearing USA gear at the upcoming World Mixed Doubles Championship as two Minnesota rinks survived the quarterfinals this morning at the 2013 USA Curling Mixed Doubles National Championship at the Capital Curling Club.

St. Paul Curling Club teammates Tim Doherty (St. Paul, Minn.) and Carol Strojny (Mendota Heights, Minn.) defeated the defending champions Brady and Cristin Clark of Washington, 8-5, to move on to the semifinals.

"It was fun. I didn't care what happened when we got out there. Playing Cristin and Brady is great, regardless of the outcome, because they're obviously great players," said Tim Doherty, who is playing in his second mixed doubles national championship. "It was a lot of fun to be on our game. We're pleased about that. My partner played superbly."

Doherty and Strojny will now play undefeated Pete and Maureen Stolt of Plymouth, Minn., in this afternoon's semifinal. The event has a double knock-out provision so if the Stolts were to lose the semifinal they still have a second chance to be in the final.

"I was more nervous in the second half for no reason whatsoever because we were curling well," Doherty said. "Until we were done, I wasn't going to be happy. But, it was a lot of fun."

The Clarks gave up steals in the first two ends and the defending champions found themselves in unfamiliar territory. Doherty and Clark held off a comeback by the Clarks in the second half to secure the win.

"They played a great game, and we didn't make as many shots early in the game. We got behind and played a good second half but they already had a big lead," said Brady Clark, who along with teammate/wife Cristin has won nine mixed national titles and three mixed doubles titles. "We still made it down to the last shot so it was better than it could have been considering it was 7-1 at the halfway break. So, what do you do? You win some, and you lose some. It's a crazy game. There were a lot of rocks in play. I don't feel that we played as well as we're capable. We only had probably two-thirds of our games where we played well. We had a lot of tight games this week. It's just the way it goes."

Andy Jukich (Duluth, Minn.) and Tina Kelly (Bemidji, Minn.) defeated Barry Ivy (Livermore, Calif.) and Britt Rjanikov (Wayland, Mass.), 10-1, after jumping out to a quick lead in the first end when the Minnesota teammates scored four points. Steals of two and one over the next two ends built a solid cushion to produce the quarterfinal win and advance Jukich and Kelly to the semifinals.

After defeating Ivy and Rjanikov in the round robin finale, Jukich and Kelly knew to expect their opponents to come out strong in the first end. "Fast starts are a big deal regardless but having just played them last night, we knew they were going to come out fast and we'd have to be ready," Jukich said. "They are a better team than what that scoreboard shows."

Jukich and Kelly will now play Scott and Teri Olson of Massachusetts in the semifinals at 1 today.

The winning team will represent the United States at the 2013 World Mixed Doubles Championship, which will take place April 13-20 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Visit the USA Curling website, www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks, to view the draw schedule and for live scoring and social media updates throughout the event.

Quarterfinals:

*Jukich-Kelly 421 021 xx - 10

Ivy-Rjanikov 000 100 xx - 1

Doherty-Strojny 210 400 01 - 8

*Clark-Clark 001 011 20 - 5

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery.

Visit the USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).

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