FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 26, 2005
Fenson rink wins U.S.
Olympic Team Trials
(MADISON, Wis.) – Pete Fenson has been dreaming about
becoming an Olympian since he threw his first curling
rock back in 1982 at the age of 14. Now Fenson may be
able to add the words Olympian to an already long and
impressive curling resume.
Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and teammates Shawn Rojeski
(Virginia, Minn.), Joe Polo (Cass Lake, Minn.) and John
Shuster (Chisholm, Minn.) defeated the Craig Brown rink,
7-3, Saturday afternoon to win the 2006 U.S. Olympic
Team Trials at the Madison Curling Club.
The Fenson and Brown rinks kept the match tight through
the first half until the momentum started to swing in
Fenson’s direction in the sixth end when they stole a
point to take a 3-1 lead after Brown’s last shot breezed
through the house.
In the seventh, Brown (Madison, Wis.) and teammates Matt
Stevens (Bemidji), Cody Stevens (Bemidji) and John
Dunlop (Wauwatosa, Wis.) were forced to take one to
avoid a steal of three by Fenson to close within one
point at 3-2. “I knew it was important to make it tough
for him,” Fenson said.
The eighth end proved to be the game-breaker as Team
Fenson got in position for a big end that resulted with
Fenson executing a runback for three points to take the
lead for good.
“It’s disappointing. We played pretty well, but we had
two picks that cost us at least two points,” Brown said.
“He (Fenson) made a great shot in the eighth. We didn’t
do anything wrong, really, and they didn’t do anything
incredibly right. Today we just had a few unfortunate
shots. We could have made a few shots better, and we
could have been better ready for reading the ice.”
Team Fenson now controls its own destiny to make the
trip to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy,
as the USA has not yet secured its men’s Olympic berth.
The Fenson rink will look to do that at the 2005 Ford
World Men’s Curling Championship April 2-10 in Victoria,
British Columbia. Nations accumulate points at the three
world championships prior to the Olympic year. The U.S.
is currently in 10th place out of 10 that
will qualify for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Only two
teams in this year’s Men’s Worlds field – New Zealand
and Australia – can surpass the U.S., which has five
points and can pass up a few other countries with a
strong showing at the 2005 Worlds.
“We got four guys on the team committed to training to
be the best we can be. We’ve been working hard all
season to get here,” said Fenson, 36, who owns Dave’s
Pizza in Bemidji, Minn. “The guys played good all week
and we’ll be ready to curl in a few weeks at Worlds.”
USA Curling is the first national governing body to
choose its teams for the 2006 Olympics. Team Fenson will
be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Committee for approval
as Team USA. The Cassie Johnson rink of Bemidji, Minn.,
won the women’s Olympic Trials earlier today.
Complete biographical information about the teams can be
found at USA Curling web site at
www.usacurl.org, including via an audiocast and
USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics and
AmerAust Technologies as well as by General Motors,
Chevron-Texaco and Bank of America through a joint
marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee.
For more information: Rick Patzke, USA Curling,