British Columbia’s men’s team won our province’s first-ever curling club championship – in dominant fashion.
The Travelers Curling Club Championship wrapped up with the men’s and women’s gold medal games at the Cataraqui Golf and Country club in Kingston, Ont, on Nov. 25.
BC’s skip Bart Sawyer was named Most Valuable Player for the men. He broke his gold medal final wide open in the third end with a big score of five points against Manitoba’s Mark Anderson. BC was trailing 1-0 when Sawyer attempted a split for six but missed. It was still enough to take full control of the game. BC went on to win the final 7-3.
This was the first national event for Sawyer, third Steve Waatainen, second Craig Burton and lead Keith Clarke. The team from the Nanaimo Curling Centre lost only one game all week.
“To be able to win a national championship or even to have one we can compete in with my parents watching in the stands is pretty special. There aren’t words to describe this right now,” Sawyer, 43, said in Kingston.
Sawyer spoke highly of his competitors both in the final and across the other sheets of play. The men’s bronze medal game between Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta paused their game to congratulate the gold and silver medalists as it wrapped up on the neighbouring sheet.
“That’s something you don’t see in a lot of other sports and even in some other curling events. We can’t say enough about the other guys we met and chatted with this week,” Sawyer added.
BC’s women had a fantastic run as well, winning 5 out of 6 games in their pool. But the team from Richmond Curling Centre featuring Kim Dennis, Heather Beatty, Dawn Mesana and Jenn Gauthier, were knocked out during their first playoff game. Their game against Nova Scotia went into the extra end and saw them miss out on advancing to the medal round by a mere inch.
Dennis said: “It has been an amazing week for our team, and we can’t thank everyone enough for all of the good lucks and support we have received. We wish we could have pulled that one off.”
In the women’s gold medal game, Manitoba beat Team Alberta to take the province’s fourth Travelers title.
Fourteen women’s teams and 14 men’s team from each of Curling Canada’s Member Associations were represented in Kingston for the week long event. The 9th annual event featured the best curling club champions in both genders split into two pools. At the completion of the split round robins the top team was placed into the semi final, while the second and third place teams played off in crossover quarterfinals.
Each team was allowed only one player who had played in a provincial/territorial Juniors’, Men’s (Brier), Women’s (Scotties) or Seniors’ championship in the current or previous four curling seasons, or participated in a full-field Grand Slam event in the current or previous four curling seasons.
As well, no player on the teams could have played in a Canadian Juniors, Men’s, Women’s or Seniors national championship in the current or previous four seasons.