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Feb. 11, 2016
Clark advances to gold-medal game in Florida
(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) – Big scoring ends continue to be the glaring statistic aiding Team Brady Clark’s march through the 2016 USA Curling National Championships. That trend continued in tonight’s Page playoff 1-2 game as Clark defeated John Shuster’s rink, 8-2, to advance to the gold-medal game at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) and teammates Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colin Hufman (Seattle), and Philip Tilker (Seattle) have now scored 19 multiple-point ends in this championship with a 65 percent scoring efficiency with the hammer.
“We had a little bit of a struggle in our last round robin game and sat down as a team and got everything ironed out. We said ‘Let’s go back and do what we did in the first eight games,’ and that’s what we did. The results spoke for themselves,” Tilker said. “That was our strongest game of the week by far.”
Clark’s team scored four points in the second end to take the early advantage over Shuster’s team of Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.). Shuster’s team put a deuce on the scoreboard in the fourth end, but allowed Clark’s side to counter with three points in the fifth end. A single steal by Clark’s team when Shuster’s final takeout jammed prompted the handshakes to conclude the game.
“Brady and Greg are calling the line really well, and we’re throwing the right weights – we’re not over-throwing or under-throwing them,” Tilker said. “With the new sweeping styles, it’s a lot harder for the line caller and Greg and Brady have probably done a better job than most people this week doing that. I think that’s why we’re getting some of these bigger ends.”
Shuster’s team will take on Craig Brown’s team in a single semifinal game at 3 p.m. ET tomorrow with the winner advancing to Saturday’s final at 6 p.m. ET. Brown (Madison, Wis.) and teammates Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and Sean Beighton (Seattle) defeated Korey Dropkin’s team, 7-3, in tonight’s Page playoff 3-4 game to stay in contention for the 2016 national title.
The women’s playoffs will take place at 4 p.m. ET tomorrow followed by the men’s playoff games at 8. A live webstream, scores and standings can be found at
Line scores:
Page playoff 1-2 game:
John Shuster                      000 200 xxx x – 2
*Brady Clark                       040 031 xxx x – 8
Page playoff 3-4 game:
*Korey Dropkin                                001 001 010 x – 2
Craig Brown                        000 210 301 x – 7
*last rock in first end
The Nationals are a key component to the season-long points chase to determine which teams will represent the U.S. at the upcoming World Curling Championships. The Shuster and Brown rinks have now secured enough points and have been named Team USA. The 2016 Ford World Women’s Championship will take place March 19-27 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, while the 2016 World Men’s Championships is April 2-10 in Basel, Switzerland. 
The winners of the 2016 USA Curling National Championships in Jacksonville, Fla., this winter will earn berths in the 2016 Champions Cup, a Grand Slam of Curling event, scheduled April 26-May 1 in Sherwood Park, Alberta. 
Playoff teams:
Team Brown: Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario), Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Verona, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.)
Team Roth: Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.), Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.), Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Coach Ann Swisshelm (Chicago)
Team Christensen: Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), Sarah Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), Taylor Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.), Christine McMakin (St. Paul, Minn.), Coach Dave Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.)
Team Sinclair: Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.), Tabitha Peterson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Jenna Haag (Milwaukee, Wis.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Coach Ann Swisshelm (Chicago)
Men’s playoff teams:
Team Clark: Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colin Hufman (Seattle), Philip Tilker (Seattle), Coach Ken Trask (Seattle)
Team Shuster: John Shuster (Superior, Wis.), Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.)
Team Brown: Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), Sean Beighton (Seattle), Coach Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.)
Team Dropkin: Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Tom Howell (Bentleyville, Ohio), Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.), Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Quinn Evenson (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Wally Henry (Beaver Dam, Wis.)
USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus,, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.
For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).
Copyright © 2016 USA Curling, All rights reserved.

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