U18 curling teams from the north, the Kootenays, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland have earned the first berths for the 2018 Optimist BC U18 Curling Championships.
The BC championships will take place from Mar. 13-18, 2018, at Salmon Arm Curling Centre. Eight teams of each gender will compete for the chance to represent BC at nationals in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.
A total of 12 U18 boys’ teams and 13 U18 girls’ teams competed this weekend for the chance to play at provincials. The playdowns took place in Salmon Arm, Mill Bay (Kerry Park Curling Club), Nelson and Williams Lake, but teams from anywhere in the province could enter into any region.
Three U18 boys’ berths were awarded. The Kerry Park berth went to Team Ballard, of Coquitlam and Royal City curling clubs. The team of fourth Hayato Sato, skip Dawson Ballard (throwing third rocks), second Joshua Miki and lead Troy Chong came second at the 2018 Boston Pizza Junior Curling Championships, a U21 event, so they continue their successful season.
In Williams Lake, Team Steventon from Smithers earned a berth to provincials. The team of Matt Steventon, third Evan Doyle, second Spencer Walton, lead Oliver Kildaw and fifth Duncan Kildaw have competitive experience in High School Curling.
Team McCrady were successful in playdowns in Salmon Arm. The team of skip Matthew McCrady, third Brayden Carpenter, second Brenin Moore and lead Jacob Umbach represent Royal City Curling Club.
On the girl’s side, four U18 berths were available – one in Williams Lake, one in Nelson and two in Kerry Park.
Team Richards from Comox Valley Curling Club and Team Douglas from Alberni Valley, Victoria, Duncan and Parksville clubs were both successful at the Kerry Park playdowns. Team Richards features skip Gracelyn Richards, third Chanelle Meeres, second Keelie Duncan and lead Bryn Woloshyn. Team Douglas features skip Rebecca Douglas, third Brooke Reintjes, second Libby Elliot, lead Dalaena Reintjes and fifth Gabriella Higdon.
In Nelson, Team Schmidt from Winfield were the successful team. The team features skip Clare Schmidt, third Abby Otteson, second Hanna Rempel and lead Jaiden Lloyd.
The northern girls’ playdown was a close affair, but the team from Prince George was the qualifier. Team Connor features skip Carly Connor, third Jordan Henson, second Hannah Lindner and lead Carsyn Hamilton.
The remaining five U18 boys’ berths and four U18 girls’ berths will be available at open playdowns running Jan. 26 to 28 at Mission Granite Curling Club.