10 BC teams to compete at Grand Slam in Cranbrook

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Ten BC teams will be competing at the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, a record for a Grand Slam event.

The event features 30 men’s teams and 30 women’s teams from around the globe competing in two tiers of action. The event runs Nov. 8-13 in Cranbrook.

Tier 2 games from round-robin play through to the semifinals will be held at Memorial Arena with the finals being played alongside the Tier 1 finals at Western Financial Place.

The only BC team set to compete in Tier 1 is Team Morris, featuring Jim Cotter, Tyrell Griffith, Rick Sawatsky and skip John Morris.

Nine BC teams will compete in Tier 2, giving them the chance to fast track their way into the elite ranks as the winners will receive guaranteed berths to the Meridian Canadian Open taking place Jan. 3-8, 2017, in North Battleford, Sask.

Fifteen men’s teams and 15 women’s teams will compete in the Tier 2 division. Ten men’s and women’s teams received invitations to the event based on their World Curling Tour total Order of Merit (OOM) ranking as of Oct. 3 after the Tier 1 division lineup had been finalized. In the event a team declined, the next-ranked team on the OOM received an invite. The remaining five men’s and five women’s teams were invited from within the region of the event.

The nine BC teams include, on the women’s side, defending BC champions Team Thompson, Team Mallett, Team Gushulak and Team Brown. On the men’s side, teams Tardi, Geall, Bilesky, Schneider and Joanisse will represent the region.

Tournament of Hearts finalist Krista McCarville and four-time world champion Glenn Howard are part of the Tour Challenge Tier 2 field.

The inaugural Tour Challenge was held a year ago on the opposite side of the country in Paradise, N.L. Jim Cotter defeated Mark Kean for the Tier 2 men’s title while Kerri Einarson topped Chantelle Eberle’s team in the Tier 2 women’s final. The victories vaulted Cotter and Einarson into Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series regulars and they both return to the Tour Challenge in the Tier 1 division

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