John Shuster is well known as the skip of the men’s Olympic Champions, and just won his seventh national championship with his rink in February. Now he’s added a new distinction: National Mixed Doubles Champions.
He teamed with Cory Christensen to win the USA Curling Mixed Doubles nationals over the weekend at the Granite Curling Club in Seattle, Washington, with a tight, 7-5 win over Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys in the final.
Plys is the new member of Shuster’s national champion rink, and he and Persinger grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first end. But Shuster, 36, and Christensen, 24, came back with three points in the second end and one in the third for a 4-2 lead. That evaporated in the fourth end with two points for Persinger and Plys, and they took a 5-4 lead in the fifth end.
But the new champions tightened up their play and scored since points in the final three ends to cinch the win. They will now represent the U.S. at the Mixed Doubles World Championships in Stavanger (NOR) in April.
Christensen and Shuster were runners-up at the 2018 Olympic Trials for Mixed Doubles, but will now competed at the Worlds Mixed Doubles for the first time. Summaries:
USA Curling National Mixed Doubles Championship
Seattle, Washington (USA) ~ 27 February-3 March 2019
(Full results here)
Final Standings: 1. Cory Christensen/John Shuster; 2. Vicky Persinger/Chris Plys; 3. Tabitha Peterson/Joe Polo and Nina Roth/Kroy Nernberger. Semis: Christensen/Shuster d. Peterson/Polo, 6-5; Persinger/Plys d. Roth/Nernberger, 8-2. Final: Christensen/Shuster d. Persinger/Plys, 7-5.