Two BC curling teams to try out for Olympic spot

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May 2, 2013, (ISN) – Two curling teams from BC will be fighting for their chance to represent Canada at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Team Cotter, from Vernon, and Team Scott, from Kelowna, are among the 24 teams looking to take a step closer to the Olympics when the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials get underway on Nov. 5 at the Memorial Auditorium Complex in Kitchener, Ont.

Jim Cotter’s team will be boosted by the addition of an Olympic champion. It was announced that John Morris, who has recently left Alberta’s Team Martin, will be joining the BC team.

Twelve teams of each gender will play off for two berths into the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, presented by Monsanto, Dec. 1 to 8 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The Trials will decide Canada’s teams to compete for Olympic gold in Sochi, Russia.

Two-times Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Kelly Scott will be joined by teammates Jeanna Schraeder, Sasha Carter and Sarah Wazney.

The addition of Morris to Team Cotter was a “super exciting” development and will not mean that the team is losing one of their current members, according to a statement on the Team Cotter Facebook page.

“He approached us with a five-man team option, not with the intent to replace anyone on the team. Not every day an opportunity of this magnitude presents itself, ALL of us agreed it’s a great opportunity. No one is out, everyone is 100% in. Obviously, there are a lot of questions to still answer so we are planning a team get-together on May Long Weekend so will provide updates as we learn more. Just know we are super excited with the addition of John Morris,” the statement read.

The team positions are not yet known but the team will consist of Cotter, Morris, Jason Gunnlaugson, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky.

Here is the full list of the teams competing at the pre-trials:

Men

Brad Jacobs, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Brad Gushue, St. John’s, Nfld.

Mark Kean, Toronto

Jim Cotter, Kelowna, B.C.

Steve Laycock, Saskatoon

Joe Frans, Bradford, Ont.

Jean-Michel Ménard, St-Romuald, Que.

Greg Balsdon, Toronto

Rob Fowler, Brandon, Man.

Bryan Cochrane, Ottawa

Jake Higgs, Harriston, Ont.

Rob Rumfeldt, Guelph, Ont.

Women

 Shannon Kleibrink, Calgary

Laura Crocker, Edmonton

Renee Sonnenberg, Grande Prairie, Alta. (Note: This berth was originally won by Kim Schneider, but the team declined it)

Cheryl Bernard, Calgary

Crystal Webster, Calgary

Amber Holland, Regina

Val Sweeting, Edmonton

Kelly Scott, Kelowna, B.C.

Cathy Auld, Mississauga, Ont.

Tracy Horgan, Sudbury, Ont.

Barb Spencer, Winnipeg

Krista McCarville, Thunder Bay, Ont. (Note: This berth was originally won by Cathy Overton-Clapham, but the team declined it)

The format for the Pre-Trials will see teams play a modified triple-knockout draw leading to a four-team playoff. One playoff qualifier will come out of the A-event, one from the B-event and two from the C-event. The A- and B-event qualifiers will meet in the playoffs, with the winner advancing to the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

The two C-event qualifiers, meanwhile, will meet in the playoffs, with the winner advancing to play against the loser of the A-B game. The winner earns the other Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings berth.

For more information on the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials, go to: www.curling.ca/roadtotheroar/.

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