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In the End, it’s all Connecticut, Team Surka rocks Wisconsin 10-4 for USA Curling Mixed title

Team Surka Connecticut holds the Mixed National Cup at the Blue Line Arena Saturday afternoon after winning the 39th annual tournament. From left, Becca Andrew, Nate Clark and husband and wife, Charrissa Lin and Derek Surka.

In the End, it’s all Connecticut,

Team Surka rocks Wisconsin 10-4 for USA Curling Mixed title

WILLMAR, MINNESOTA — A national tournament host for the first time, the city of Willmar handed the championship trophy in mixed curling to an East Coast team out of Connecticut.

On fire from the opening stone, Team Surka defeated Team Murray of Wisconsin 10-4 in nine Ends on Saturday afternoon at the Willmar Civic Center. A large crowd showed up watching from the balcony or on the risers along the ice sheet.

The match concluded the 8-day USA Curling Mixed National Championship hosted by the city and the Willmar Curling Club.

Championship team members are Derek Surka, his wife of 13 years, Charrissa Lin, college graduate this month Becca Andrew and 22-year-old college senior Nate Clark.

This was the seventh mixed national for the skip and his wife and the first victory.

“Derek was amazing today,” said Charrissa.

Team Wisconsin never caught a break or an opening. The Surka foursome was near perfection on its eight rocks per End.

“They just never missed,” said Mike Graziano of the runners-up from Madison.

Team Surka went 9-2 over the eight-day draw; Wisconsin finished 7-5 with do-or-die wins over Alaska in Thursday’s tiebreaker and then an upset of No. 1 seed Washington (9-2) in the semifinals.

The bronze medal went to Team Sieg of Washington after North Dakota forfeited on Friday evening.

A board member of USA Curling at the post-game ceremony said Willmar had demonstrated that is indeed was capable of handling a national curling tournament of any magnitude, including the Men’s and Women’s Nationals.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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