April 17, 2014 (ISN) – The 14th annual Optimist U18 International Curling Championships have concluded in Langley and Surrey B.C., with Team Connecticut winning the men’s title, and Team Manitoba winning the women’s.
These Championships feature curlers from 11 to 17 years of age representing teams from Canada, the United States and Japan.
On the men’s side, Team Connecticut – skip Kent Suslavich, third Hunter Clawson, second William Pryor, lead Caleb Clawson and coach Don Arsenault – went into the finals with only one loss. They defeated Team Northern Ontario by a score of 5-3 to take the gold medal. Team Washington defeated Team Nova Scotia to win bronze.
The women’s gold medals were awarded to Team Manitoba – skip Brooke Friesen, third Katelyn Derksen, second Kelsey Sagert, lead Cali Hamm and coach Ross Derksen – who needed an extra end to defeat Team Ontario 6-5. Team Alberta defeated Saskatchewan to win Bronze.
The Optimist U18 International Curling Championships is celebrating its 14th year as an event designed to promote youth curling. Developed in 1999 by Bill Hans of the Calgary Youth Association, the event was first held in Calgary, Alta. in 2001. The championships have also been held in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Previously known as the Optimist Western Canada Juvenile Curling Championships and the Optimist International Juvenile Curling Championships, the event has featured notable curlers such as Chelsea Carey, Kaitlyn Lawes, Breanne Meakin, Rachel Homan and Charley Thomas.