Peterson rink earns Olympic women's curling berth

U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials
Team Peterson's Tara Peterson (left) and Nina Roth sweep to curl the rock thrown by Becca Hamilton during the finals at the U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday.
Rebecca S. Gratz | AP

Minnesotan Tabitha Peterson is heading back to the Olympics, and defending curling gold medalist John Shuster is still in the running for a fifth straight trip to the Winter Games.

Team Peterson swept Team Christensen in the best-of-three U.S. curling trials, winning 11-4 on Saturday night to earn the Americans' spot in the Olympic women's tournament in Beijing. Peterson, of St. Paul, will be joined by her sister Tara Peterson of Eagan, an Olympic rookie, along with 2018 veterans Nina Roth and Becca Hamilton of Wisconsin.

U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials
From left, Team Peterson's coach Laine Peters, alternate Aileen Geving, Tara Peterson, Becca Hamilton, Nina Roth and Tabitha Peterson wave to fans during the medal presentation following their victory in the finals at the U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday.
Rebecca S. Gratz | AP

Team Shuster, which returned three of the four members of the Pyeongchang champion squad, beat Team Dropkin 7-3 in Game 2 on Saturday night to force a third game on Sunday. Duluthian Korey Dropkin’s rink won the opener 8-4 on Friday night.

U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials
Team Shuster's John Shuster watches as teammates John Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton sweep while competing against Team Dropkin at the U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday.
Rebecca S. Gratz | AP

It was a familiar position for Shuster, of Superior, Wis., who also lost Game 1 in the 2017 trials before rallying to win two straight and make it to his fourth consecutive Olympic Games. In Korea, Team Shuster fell to 2-4 in pool play before winning five straight elimination games to take the gold medal.

U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials
Team Dropkin's Korey Dropkin (from left), Tom Howell and Mark Fenner sweep while competing against Team Shuster during the U.S. Olympic Curling Team Trials.
Rebecca S. Gratz | AP

Shuster, who won a bronze medal at the Turin Games in 2006, is teamed with fellow 2018 Olympians Matt Hamilton of Wisconsin and John Landsteiner of Duluth. Chris Plys of Duluth has joined the team to replace Tyler George, who retired after the Pyeongchang Games.

Team Dropkin also includes two-time Olympian Joe Polo of Duluth as well as Mark Fenner of Minneapolis and Tom Howell of Milwaukee. It was the only team to beat Shuster in pool play in Omaha.

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