FARGO, North Dakota -- Jamie Sinclair is headed to the Worlds in North Bay. Sinclair and her team of Alex Carlson, Vicky Persinger and Monica Walker won the USA Curling Nationals Gold medal winning the final game 6-5 over Cory Christensen.
Sinclair was faced with a partially buried stone on the back of the four foot, another Christensen counter in the top 8-foot when she made the soft tap to hit and stay for the tiebreaking point in the 10th end.
"We had a couple of missed shots so we were kind of in a little bit of a pickle there," said Sinclair when talking about the final end. "Just super proud of everyone on the team, especially the sweepers judging that last rock. I threw it a little bit hot outta hand but super proud of them for judging it correctly and making the shot."
The game opened with an aggressive end by Cory Christensen and her team of Sarah Anderson, Jenna Martin and Taylor Anderson who put rocks in play beginning with a centre guard.
"Our plan going into it was to play a little more aggressive than the last time we played them and two put the pressure on them. And we did that," said Christensen following the game. "We played really well and had a lot of opportunities and capitalized on a lot of those opportunities."
With Sinclair looking good for two most of the first end, Christensen used her guard to make a great hit and roll, and with Sinclair coming short on the draw, they accomplished their goal of getting off to a good start.
The second end was more trouble for Sinclair, who was left on her last with a buried Christensen stone that was going to be tough to remove. Sinclair stepped up and changed the game with the runback triple to pick out the counting stone and score two.
"It was a back and forth game. The first end didn’t go our way obviously we had the hammer and I came up light on my draw to give up that steal," said Sinclar. "I was a little nervous after that for sure but bounced back with a great shot in the second end. Finally we came home tied with hammer and that’s a great situation to be in.
A steal in the third end for Sinclair, with Christensen bouncing back to score two in the fourth end to tie the game at 3. The teams traded singles until the turning point in 9th end, with Christensen down 4-3 and trying to blank.
“I think maybe being forced to one in the ninth end. We were kind of going for the blank there," said Christensen reflecting on the game. "It just got a little junked up. But still good to score one there and we were feeling great in the last end with good rock placement. She just made a great shot at the [last] end."
For Sinclair, this makes back-to-back USA Championships for the team, who were also runner's up at the Olympic Trials in November.
"Just so much pride in this team for how we managed to rebound after a pretty devastating November", said Sinclair. "But we played great in the US Open, great in Bern as runner up and then we had a Slam to practice playing on championship ice like this."
"Then we come here and go undefeated so I couldn’t be more proud of the team with how we rebounded from November.”
Sinclair heads to the World Championship in North Bay, Ontario for the first time as Team USA. Opening draw is next Saturday at the Memorial Gardens.
“We’re feeling good about our game. There are some little areas that could use some improvement for sure. We definitely are gonna ride this confidence curve and momentum going into Worlds.”