Curling: Olympic four-peat for Shuster
John Shuster can pack his rocks and brooms for South Korea.
The Chisholm native and Duluth Curling Club skip survived some nerve-wracking moments Saturday night at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb., to earn a spot in his fourth Winter Olympics.
Shuster, who resides in Superior, defeated Heath McCormick 7-5 in the third match of a best-of-three men's final to win the U.S. Olympic Trials 2-1.
Shuster and teammates Tyler George and John Landsteiner — both of Duluth — and Matt Hamilton of McFarland, Wis., earned the right to be Team USA at February's Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Duluth's Joe Polo was the alternate.
It wasn't an easy path for Shuster, but it rarely is. He sets a record for American curlers with his fourth Olympics, the last three as skip of the U.S. team, but needed to get past McCormick's team, which included Duluthian Chris Plys and Minnesota Duluth student Korey Dropkin.
McCormick had won Thursday's opening match and had a chance to steal two in the 10th end of Saturday's match, but Shuster's final throw barely stayed in the outer circle and gave his team the deciding point.
Duluth's Geving going to Games
Shuster's team isn't the only one with Duluth connections headed to South Korea.
In the women's final, Nina Roth's rink — including Duluthian Aileen Geving — beat Jamie Sinclair 7-6 to win the best-of-three series 2-1.
Roth, Geving, Tabitha Peterson and Becca Hamilton will compete at Team USA in Pyeongchang.
"I am just in shock. I'm just so happy and proud of myself, my team and everyone. It doesn't seem real," said Geving, who shot 82 percent.
At just age 30, this was the fourth Olympic Trials that Geving has competed in.
"It's incredible," she said. "I just feel so proud, happy to be on the U.S. team and can't wait to go out there and perform. There's going to be a lot of smiles for the next 82 days until we're there."
With the match seemingly in control, Team Roth missed back-to-back takeouts in the ninth end and then gave up a steal of two when Roth's final stone of the game wasn't released before it crossed the hogline. Needing two for the win, Roth's team took advantage of a few half-shots from Team Sinclair to earn the deuce and the title of Olympians.
The fifth athlete to be named to the Olympic women's team will be announced within 10 days.