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Minnesota I rinks remains undefeated at 2011 USA Curling Junior National Championships

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Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 4:14 am | Updated: 1:49 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

FAIRBANKS — And then there was one.

The Miranda Solem rink of Cohasset, Minn., is the only unbeaten team as the USA Curling Junior National Championships passed the midway point of the round-robin portion of the competition Tuesday at the Fairbanks Curling Club.

Solem’s rink defeated the Hannah Elko rink of Pardeeville Wis., 9-2 to improve to 5-0 in the women’s division.

Solem is alone at the top of the standings, one-game ahead of the Becca Hamilton rink (4-1) from McFarland, Wis. Hamilton cruised to a 12-1 victory against the Katlyn Beebe rink of Saratoga, N.Y.

Four other women’s rinks — Vicky Persinger of Fairbanks, Mackenzie Lank of Devils Lake, N.D., Cory Christensen of Duluth, Minn., and Hannah Ely of Penfield, N.Y. — are tied for third place at 3-2.

Other scores from Tuesday’s women’s games Christensen 11, Shelby Sweet of Everett, Wash., 3; Ely 7, Abigayle Lindgren of Grand Forks, N.D., 4; and Lank 7, Persinger 6.

The women’s teams each have four games remaining — two today and two on Thursday — to decide which four teams will advance to the championship round, which begins Friday afternoon.

The men’s standings are still scrambled with three rounds remaining in the round-robin portion of the event.

After completing six rounds of play, the Tom Gabower rink of Janesville, Wis., and the Alex Leichter rink of Wayland, Mass., are atop the standings with 5-1 records.

The John Landsteiner rink of Trempealeau, Wis., and the Stephen Dropkin rink of Southborough, Mass., are tied for third at 4-2.

Three others rinks — Adam Wald of Chisholm, Minn., Adam Kitchens of Devils Lake, Minn., and Evan Workin of Fargo, N.D. — are all still in the hunt for a playoff spot with 3-3 records.

The Alaska rink skipped by Matt Birklid of Fairbanks is 2-4 and would need to win all three of its remaining games in order to be in position to possibly get into a tie-breaker game.

The men play two games today and one on Thursday, with the top four teams advancing to the championship round on Friday.

If tie-breakers are needed to determine who is in the top four, those games will be played Thursday evening and Friday morning.

The men’s and women’s championship games are slated for noon, Saturday.

Landsteiner went into Tuesday’s competition with a 4-0 record, but suffered two one-point losses — 7-5 to Dropkin and 8-7 to Leichter. Both games went down to the last rock before the outcome was determined.

Leichter won both of his matches Tuesday, with his first win of the day being a 10-3 triumph against the Jake Vukich rink of Seattle.

The top-seeded Wald rink had another split day. Wald opened with an 8-4 win against Tyler Runing rink of North Mankato, Minn., then lost to the Gabower rink, 9-3.

Gabower opened the day’s play with a 7-4 win against Workin, and the evening win against Wald put Gabower in first place.

Birklid also split his matches Tuesday, edging Kitchens 8-7 with three in the 10th end, then losing a 10-8 decision to Workin in the evening session.

For complete team standings, all the scores and today’s scheduled, see today’s Sports Scoreboard on Page D2.

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