Beausejour will be the host city for the 2016 Provincial Scotties Women’s Curling Championship which begins next Wednesday and continues through until the championship final on Sunday, January 24th.
The Granite’s Kristy McDonald rink with Third Kate Cameron, Second Leslie Wilson, Lead Raunora Westcott, Fifth Lindsay Warkentin and coach Ron Westcott go into the 5 day event as the #1 seed. But McDonald says she doesn’t see being targeted as “the team to beat” being any kind of an issue. “You know what, naw. I don’t get too excited about that stuff anymore. I’ve been around long enough to not let that bother me.”
Going in as the #2 seeds are the Kerri Einarson rink of East St. Paul who have been the runners up in the championship for the past two years. So does that make Einarson and her rinkmates Selena Katz (Third), Liz Fyfe (Second), Kristin MacCuish (Lead), Cherie-Ann Sheppard (Fifth) and Coach Patti Wuthrich the most motivated team in the mix? “Uh, I think so,” was Einarson’s response. “We’re still looking at coming into it and having good games. You definitely have to play well. It’s Selena’s hometown so maybe that could be a little bit of an edge.”
Rounding out the top 5 seeded rinks are Assiniboine Memorial clubmates Barb Spencer and Michelle Montford, along with Darcy Robertson of Rossmere. Spencer was a 3rd place finisher a year ago and says there are contending rinks beyond the top five. “Cathy Overton is a world class curler. Joelle Brown’s had a really good year.”
Absent for this year’s Provincials will be the Jennifer Jones rink. The reigning Olympic and Canadian Champs have an automatic berth into next month’s National Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Grande Prairie, Alberta. But event organizers say members of the Jones rink will be in Beausejour on the Friday of the competition to meet with curling fans and sign autographs.
McDonald plays Neepawa’s Terry Ursel in her first game in the 8:30 a.m. opening draw on the Wednesday Morning. Einarson meets Cheryl Reed of Brandon in one of the Opening Day match ups in the 12:15 p.m. draw.