Led by Szeto, Viloria, Curling Reaches GoldBy Brent Yen and Joyance Meechai
Last weekend MIT sent two teams to Madison, Wisc. for the 10th annual USA College Curling Tournament. Both teams from MIT finished in the top four of their division, with one taking first place.
This year organizers separated the participating schools into three pools, based on total team experience. The MIT curlers competed in Pool C, for those teams with under 10 total years of curling experience.
The MIT teams skipped by Raymond W. L. Szeto G and John A. Viloria G both did extremely well, making it to the final four of the tournament
The team skipped by Viloria included vice Brent J. Yen G, second Jonathan M. Histon G, and Madison local Tracey Last as lead. The team faced Marquette University, Bowling Green State University, and the other MIT team.
Viloria called defensive games into the house on the fast and straight ice at the Madison Curling Club. He relied on his team to make their takeouts and take advantage of their opponents’ mistakes by splitting the house with multiple draw shots.
In the final game of the opening round against Bowling Green, Viloria came through in dramatic fashion with his team trailing by two points in the final end. He calmly drew the hammer to the eight-foot mark to score three and win the draw 7-6.
The team’s 3-0 record qualified them to play in the gold medal match against also-undefeated North Dakota State University.
The final against North Dakota State was evenly matched, with neither team able to score a big end. With the score tied 3-3 in the seventh end, MIT stole two to give them a cushion going into the final end. This two-point margin proved to be enough as Viloria’s team controlled the house in the final end and held on for the win.
The Szeto rink included Joyance Meechai G as vice, Larry Baeder as second, and Christophe Restif as lead. They had a busy weekend with a game Friday evening and three on Saturday. The team faced the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Harvard, the Viloria rink, and North Dakota State. Though the team’s main strategy was a draw game, there were takeouts to be made including several beautiful double takeouts.
The team went 2-2 and qualified for the bronze medal match, which they lost in the last end on Sunday. The two teams to which they lost were the two teams that had to battle it out in the gold medal match.
The members of the MIT Curling Club have made rapid improvements since the club’s inception last year. This year marks the first time a team from MIT has participated at the national collegiate event, and the MIT curlers were excited about playing well in their debut appearance.
College curling in the United States is currently dominated by schools in the Midwest; however, with teams such as MIT, Harvard, and Rutgers competing last weekend, the MIT Curling Club hopes that the sport will continue to develop in this area of the country as well.