Loads of results to report.
A flu bug and too much curling has put me behind on posting results for Plainfield curlers. Allow me to catch up.
First, the GNCC junior playdowns took place between Christmas and the New Year with the boys competing at Broomstones in Wayland, MA and the girls curling at The Country Club in nearby Chestnut Hill, MA. Nicole Arsenault, playing third for Katlyn Beebe’s Albany rink, captured the championship and will head to beautiful Devil’s Lake, ND (ah, the glamorous locations we travel to for our sport) for the Nationals. Other members of that rink included Rebecca Andrew, Abigail Morrison and Rebecca Vanarsdall. It’s a great win for Nicole.
In the Junior Men’s, the Plainfield rink of Brandon Folkes, Jeremy Ringler, Cameron Ross and Matt Ryklin competed well — Rachel and Don noted that they were in every game — but came up a bit short, finishing the round-robin with a record of 2-3. Plainfield’s Thomas Howell, playing third on a rink that is skipped by Korey Dropkin (Broomstones), had a great run and finished just out of a spot in the Nationals, losing their final game to Alex Leichter’s rink. In that game, the boys were up one without hammer playing the tenth but surrendered the deuce. A great showing for these kids especially since their combined age is probably less than my own. Or at least less than Peskoff’s. Most of the players on Leichter’s rink are in college — I think we can expect big things out of Thomas and the Dropkin rink for years to come.
The New Year also brought the playdowns for the men’s and women’s World Team Trials. Erika Brown, with PCC’s Nina Reiniger at second, continued their excellent season by going 8-0 at the East Regional at Ardsley. This team is playing extremely well and has really dominated the women’s game in the U.S. this season. Lots of positive juju to Nina and the rest of her rink at the Trials in Denver in February.
On the men’s side, Team Matt Hames (Buffalo, NY) with Matt Mielke (formerly of PCC) at at third, Bill Stopera of Ardsley at second and myself at lead, battled through the East Regional at The Country Club in Brookline to grab the last Challenge Round spot. The curling gods smiled on us a bit in our last game but also spat on us earlier in the event so I guess it all evens out. Whatever the case, it means that we get to visit Bismarck, North Dakota in late January. I’m sure everyone with tropical holiday plans is extremely envious. At least we’ll get some meals at the Mielke home.
Jason Valetutto’s rink (Mark Mooney, Brady Gould, Aaron Dubberley) also competed in the East Regional and while they finished 1-4, they battled hard in every game. They were in the toughest pool in the event and there was no quit in the boys from New Jersey. Bill Peskoff was also playing at TCC with Scott Edie’s rink. They finished just out of the hunt for a Challenge Round spot, losing a tiebreaker game to the young Corbett rink from Rochester.
I know there are probably some other results to report from spiels like The Cracked Bell and the 5-and-Under in Schenectady but I can’t find them anywhere yet. Fill me in, folks.
POSTSCRIPT: Well, John Wilman filled me in. He skipped his team of Sarah McCulloh, Dean Roth and Grace Roth to a runner-up finish in the Second Event at teh USWCA 5 & Under Open spiel that was held in Schenectady. They lost their final game to Team Blankenstein from Philadelphia. A great showing by some of our most enthusiastic 5 & Under curlers.
— Dean Gemmell