Vicky Persinger

Fairbanks’ Vicky Persinger sweeps the ice during the U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials on Nov. 11 in Omaha, Nebraska. Persinger is participating with Team USA curlers,  NHL players and U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team players Aug. 25 during an NBCSN “Curling Night in America” event in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Michelle Bishop file photo for the News-Miner

Team Sinclair, aided by team second and Fairbanks local Vicky Persinger, remains undefeated in the women’s 2020 USA Curling National Championships qualifying round, which continued on Monday at the Recreation Center or Eastern Washington University of Cheney, Washington.

The qualifying round is a seven-game round robin for the women and a nine-game round robin for the men. Of the four current and three former Fairbanks residents competing in the tournament, Persinger’s team (3-0) is the only remaining undefeated squad.

The championships attract the top teams in the country and will help determine the nation’s representatives at the upcoming men’s and women’s world championships. Both world championships also count towards qualification for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Team Sinclair, one of two remaining undefeated women’s teams, grabbed its third win on Monday after defeating Team Traxler, skipped by fellow Fairbanks resident Ariel Traxler. Traxler is still looking for a win.

Local curler Anne O’Hara is playing lead for 2-1 Team McMakin, which beat Team Potter 6-3 Monday.

Of the eight teams competing in the women’s tournament, the top three following the conclusion of the round-robin will advance to the playoffs, unless there is a four-way tie for first, in which case the top four will advance.

On the men’s side of the tournament, Team Rouhonen, which includes local curler Greg Persinger and former Fairbanks resident Colin Hufman, hold a 3-1 record. They lost 7-3 on Sunday evening to Team Shuster, the only remaining undefeated men’s team, before beating Team Maerki 7-1 on Monday.

Team Birklid, skipped by Steven Birklid and aided by Matt Birklid, both formerly of Fairbanks, lost its Sunday evening game 9-6 to Team Maerki. The Birklids earned their first win on Monday with a 7-3 victory over Team Brundidge.

The top four men’s team’s after the preliminary round will advance to the playoffs.

The men began their fifth preliminary game at 6 p.m. Monday. The games were not completed by press time. The women continue their round-robin at 8 a.m. today.

Both round-robins conclude Thursday.

Contact News-Miner sports writer Laura Stickells at 459-7530. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMsports.