For the City Times
BEMIIDJI, Minn. — Stevens Point junior curlers bring home the bronze medal as they compete as Team Wisconsin 1 at the 2018 USA Curling U18 Junior Nationals in Bemidji, Minn. on Feb, 21-25.
The team; consisting of Skip Suzanna Viau(Stevens Point CC), 3rd Rachel Kawleski(Stevens Point CC), 2nd Ashton Osterhaus(Pardeeville CC), and Lead Elizabeth Rubenzer(Stevens Point CC), competed at a regional qualifier in December and qualified to attend the championship event as Team Wisconsin 1. The U18 Junior Nationals event is a field of the top 12 boys and 12 girls teams from across the nation.
All players must be 18 years of age or younger in order to be eligible to compete in the championship. The team competed in pool play against 5 other teams, with the top two teams qualifying for the playoff round against the top teams from the other pool.
Finishing pool play with a 3-2 record, the ladies from the badger state played a tie break game against Minnesota 2, winning to continue on to the final four. The girls lost a hard fought semi final game against Minnesota 1, but had to shake it off as they took to the ice just minutes later to compete in the Bronze medal match. The final game was played against a familiar foe in Team Wisconsin 2 and came down to the very last stone to determine the outcome.
The girls have all been competing in Bonspiels, High School Curling, Competitive Playdowns for several years. For the Stevens Point curling club girls, this will be the last time they compete in this event, as they will age out of the U18 division. Viau, Kawleski, and Osterhaus also competed at the U21 Nationals this year, and Viau will be curling at Women’s Nationals starting on March 3 in Fargo, ND.