BC curlers take silver at wheelchair nationals

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April 3, 2013, (ISN) – BC’s Gary Cormack and his his team of Frank La Bounty, Vince Miele, Alison Duddy, Samantha Siu and coach Karen Watson have returned from the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships in Ottawa with silver around their necks.

In the semifinal on Sunday morning, BC defeated Alberta’s Bruno Yizek 8-7 to move into the championship game. But in the final played later that day, Cormack and his team, who represent the Marpole and Richmond curling clubs, could not defeat a dominant Quebec team.

Benoit Lessard’s team from Magog Curling Club in Quebec, led throughout round-robin play, and definitely posed a threat to BC. Lessard struck early, taking four points in the first end and continued to tally up the points, relying on their strong hitting ability to keep BC from getting rocks into position. They eventually beat the BC side 10-2. For Lessard and his team of Carl Marquis, Sébastien Boisvert, Johanne Daly and coach Germain Tremblay, the win gave Quebec its first national wheelchair curling title.

Lessard, La Bounty, Manitoba second Mark Wherrett and the tied pairing of Daly and Duddy were named to the all-star team (based on shooting percentage), while Boisvert won the sportsmanship award.

Alberta’s Bruno Yizek foursome from Calgary (Jack Smart, Martin Purvis, Anne Hibbert, alternate Wendy Frazier and coach Andy Jones) went home with the bronze medal.

Results and statistics from the round robin and championship games are available at www.curling.ca and http://www.curling.ca/championships/wheelchair


Team BC take gold at Optimist International U-18 event

BC’s top juvenile women’s curling team took home the gold medal this past weekend at the annual Optimist International U-18 Curling Championships.

Team Daniels, from Delta Thistle Curling Club, beat 11 other women’s teams to the podium. The team is skipped by 13-year-old Sarah Daniels and features her sister Megan in third, second Megan Bourassa and lead Heather Sinclair.

The boys’ team from Coquitlam Curling Centre, made up of skip Kyle Habkirk, third Nicholas Umbach, second Ryan Harbrink and lead Kento Sato, won three of their games.

Ninety-six curlers (12 men’s and 12 women’s teams) from seven provinces, one territory, five states and Japan competed over a five-day tournament held at Langley and Cloverdale curling clubs.

The championships take place every year in Canada and give young people the opportunity to play at an international level and to grow as athletes and individuals.

“In curling, a child does not need to be bigger, faster or stronger to grow from playground to podium,” said Al Kersey, event chair.

In addition to the tournament, competitors had the opportunity to participate in a high performance development camp to focus on honing their skills. With the guidance of four international curling coaches, the curlers worked on team building skills and mental and physical prep before games.

The U-18 championships attract some of the best young curlers in the world, and many go on to compete at the highest levels.

Alumni Rachel Homan of Ontario won the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian Women’s Curling Championship in February and competed as Team Canada at the World Women’s Curling Championships in Riga, Latvia from March 16 to 24.

Team Corryn Brown, from the Kamloops Curling Club, were also past competitiors. They won the 2013 Tim Hortons BC Junior Women’s Curling Championship and the 2013 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championship. They recently returned from Sochi, Russia, after representing Canada at the 2013 Junior World Curling Championships.

For more information about the event, visit www.U18curling.ca or check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/u18curling.