Curling: McFarland’s Nina Roth, Becca Hamilton, Matt Hamilton earn Olympic spots
Hours after McFarland’s Nina Roth and Becca Hamilton earned spots in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Hamilton’s brother, Matt, joined them.
Roth’s team won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in women’s curling on Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska, overcoming a late miscue to defeat Team Jamie Sinclair 7-6 in the deciding match.
Roth is the skip of the championship team, and Becca Hamilton is the lead.
Later Saturday, Matt Hamilton’s team, led by skip John Shuster, defeated Team Heath McCormick 7-5 to win the men’s trials.
Team Shuster rallied from a loss in the first game of a best-of-three series, while Team Roth had to come from behind in the final end Saturday.
With last shot in the 10th end, Roth scored two to overtake Team Sinclair and clinch the U.S. spot in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February.
“It’s what I’ve worked for since I was 10 years old,” Roth told TeamUSA.com. “I’m in disbelief. It’s awesome. I’m so proud of my team.”
Roth overcame a gaffe on the final throw of the ninth end, when she committed a hog-line violation, holding the stone too long, that allowed Team Sinclair to steal two points for a 6-5 lead.
“I was just heartbroken,” Roth said. “My heart dropped into my stomach and I just got hot, and it was already a bad end to begin with. But my teammates were fantastic. We got in a huddle, took a deep breath together, said, ‘We got this, we have hammer. As long as we get two, we’re good.’”
Sinclair threw long on her final shot in the 10th end, giving Roth the victory.
Team Roth won the first game in the best-of-three finals series 6-5 on Thursday before Team Sinclair evened the series Friday, 7-6.
Roth, Hamilton, third Tabitha Peterson and second Aileen Geving also teamed up to win the Canad Inns Classic in Manitoba in October.
On the men’s side, Team Shuster forced a deciding third game against Team Heath McCormick with a 9-4 victory Friday.
They started with a bang Saturday, scoring three in the first end. But the game wasn’t decided until the final throw, when Shuster prevented McCormick’s attempt to steal a point.
Matt Hamilton plays second on Shuster’s team.