|Former Manitoba Curling Tour women's champion Chelsea Carey is "Miss March" in the 2011 Women of Curling Calendar, a fundraising project available at womenofcurlingcalendar.com (Photo courtesy Personal Expressions Photography)
WINNIPEG - The curling calendar girls have proven that they have talent on the pebble, too.
Morden’s Chelsea Carey cracked a three in the seventh end to down Winnipeg’s Cathy Overton-Clapham 7-3 in the final of the $60,000 Manitoba Lotteries Women’s Curling Classic at the Fort Rouge Curling Club on Monday night.
Carey, who posed for the 2011 Women of Curling calendar, sailed through the most prestigious women’s Grand Slam on the circuit unbeaten.
“If only I had posed for the calendar years ago, that’s all I needed to do,” joked Carey, whose third, Kristy Jenion, also appears in the calendar.
Not only does Carey’s foursome cash a $15,000 cheque but it earns a berth into this year’s Canada Cup, to be played in Medicine Hat. Alta., Dec. 1-5, through the World/Manitoba Curling Tour event.
“This is, by far, the biggest (win) of my career and everybody on our team, actually,” said Carey, also supported by second Kristen Foster and Lindsay Titheridge. “The money and everything is awesome but the Canada Cup is really the real light at the end of the tunnel and we’re actually really excited about that … It’s huge for us, which is so exciting.”
Overton-Clapham settled for $10,000 in only her second cashspiel with the women’s team she formed after getting dumped by Manitoba’s reigning Canadian champion Jennifer Jones.
“What a big stepping-stone for our team,” said Overton-Clapham, supported by third Breanne Meakin, second Leslie Wilson and Raunora Westcott. “We had a great weekend and learned a lot of things together. But yeah, it was obviously disappointing with the Canada Cup spot on the line and stuff … and Chelsea’s team played really well (Monday).”
Jones, by the way, was eliminated in a quarter-final when Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton clipped her 7-5. But Overton-Clapham declined to rub it in.
“We were just focusing on ourselves,” she said.
Carey had advanced by nipping Lawton 5-4 in an extra end in one semifinal while Overton-Clapham also needed an extra end to edge Alberta’s Heather Nedohin 8-7 in the other. Nedohin and Lawton got $6,000 each.
TOP PRAIRIE DOG: Mike McEwen beat fellow Manitoban Jeff Stoughton 6-3 in a re-match of the 2010 provincial championship in the final of the W/MCT’s Canad Inns Prairie Classic in Portage la Prairie Monday night to earn $18,000. Stoughton pocketed $10,000.
“This is the biggest paycheque we’ve ever had and it’s the first World Curling Tour event we’ve ever gone through undefeated, so that’s kinda cool,” McEwen said from Portage. “It feels pretty good to be playing this well this early in the season because this is only our third event. And any time you get a chance to beat Jeff, it shows that maybe it’s our turn to win the province this year.”
Supported by third B.J. Neufeld, second Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld, McEwen needed an extra end to clip Stoughton’s former third, Kevin Park, 6-5 in one semifinal. In the other, Stoughton beat Brandon’s Rob Fowler, his former second, 6-2. Both Park and Fowler, who upset Ontario’s former world champion Glenn Howard in a quarter-final, settled for $6,000.
BITERS: Garry Van Den Berghe, another ex-Stoughton teammate, flew in from B.C. to help Winnipeg’s Arnold Asham beat Brandon’s Brian Fowler 4-3 in the final of the Lloyd Gunnlaugson Senior Memorial Bonspiel on Sunday, earning $2,700. Fowler settled for $1,400. On the women’s side, Brandon’s Lois Fowler (Brian’s wife) defeated Fort Garry’s Deb Popovic 7-2 to win $1,200. Popovic pocketed $600 … Charleswood’s Beth Peterson was presented with the $250 Lorraine Toth Junior Women’s Scholarship at the Women’s Classic. Cory Watling’s East St. Paul team got the $250 junior men’s award.