Kamloops curling rink in Scotties
Allison MacInnes and Kelly Thompson are the first two skips to qualify through regional playdowns for the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts B.C. Women’s Curling Championship.
This prestigious provincial title event will run from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29 at the North Shore Winter Club in North Vancouver.
MacInnes and her Kamloops team of Grace MacInnes, Diane Gushulak, Amanda Guido, along with coach Ken MacDonald, went undefeated in the seven-team double-knockout event at the Creston Curling Club on the weekend.
They began the weekend with an 8-7 extra-end win over Elkford’s Jill Klapp, followed by a 6-4 victory over Invermere’s Jill Andrews.
The Kamloops crew sealed its provincial berth with a 6-4 triumph over Richmond’s Kelly Thompson.
Thompson and her team of Kim Thompson, Pamela Lai and Janelle Sakamoto began their weekend with a 5-3 win over Beaver Valley’s Desiree Schmidt. They followed that by defeating Kamloops’ Karla Thompson 8-5, before falling to MacInnes and rebounding with another win over Schmidt by a score of 6-3.
Interestingly, both third and skip combinations of this weekend’s qualifying teams (Allison and Grace MacInnes and Kelly and Kim Thompson) are sisters.
This past weekend was the first of four open qualifying events for the B.C. championship.
The next one runs this upcoming weekend (Nov. 25 to Nov. 27) at the Juan de Fuca Curling Club in Victoria.
The last two events are at the McArthur Island Curling Club in Kamloops from Dec. 2 to Dec. 5, and at the Chilliwack Curling Club from Dec. 16 to Dec. 18.
Teams that were not successful in qualifying this past weekend are eligible to enter the last two open qualifying events, from which two teams will advance from each.
In the end, the top 10 women’s teams in B.C. will battle for the title and a berth into the Scotties Canadian Curling Championship in Red Deer in February.
The B.C. championship will begin with a full-event round-robin, followed by a four-team Page system playoff.
Former world champion Kelly Scott will return as defending champion, while the spot awarded to the top B.C. women’s team on the Canadian Team Ranking System as of Dec. 1 will likely be clinched by Kelley Law of New Westminster’s Royal City Curling Club.