Reversal of fortune

JIM BENDER, Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:32 PM ET

That familiar, friendly voice on the other side of the line knew exactly why she was called.

“Is this about going through the back door to get into the provincials?” Karen Fallis asked.

Well, yeah. That and the irony of the situation.

Fort Rouge’s Cathy Overton-Clapham, you see, had recruited Fallis to play third for her at the provincials just in case her third, Breanne Meakin, skipped her junior squad to its second straight Manitoba title.

And she did, which means that Meakin will be heading for the nationals at the same time the provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts is being played in Altona at the end of this month.

But here’s the irony: Overton-Clapham replaced Fallis at third for St. Vital’s Jennifer Jones in 2005. She was then sent packing by Jones at the end of last season.

Now, they are playing together.

“Oh yeah, I was as surprised as anyone,” said Fallis, who played third for Jones when she won her first Manitoba women’s crown in 2002. “But Jennifer decided that wasn’t the future of the team and found someone else (Kaitlyn Lawes).”

Fallis has since skipped a number of different teams but her own team failed to qualify for this year’s provincials. That’s when Cathy called.

“I was very fortunate to get asked to play for the No. 1-seeded team at the provincials,” said Fallis, who had never played with Overton-Clapham before.

They did hook up to play in the recent Manitoba Curling Tour Championship, where they lost a semifinal to Morden’s Chelsea Carey, the eventual winner.

“We played well enough,” said Fallis. “We lost a close one to Chelsea and the girls were really nice to play with.”

Leslie Wilson and Raunora Westcott, who won last year’s Scotties as the front end for Jill Thurston, are at second and lead.

“I’m really excited, I just hope I hold up my end sweeping,” said Fallis.

So, what happens to the lineup at the nationals if Overton-Clapham wins?

“We’ve discussed it but nothing has been decided yet,” Fallis said.

WATER BABY: Winnipeg’s Chantal Van Landeghem just continues to amaze in the water. The promising youngster earned another two gold medals at the Burns Open youth and junior competition in Sheffield, England on Sunday.

Van Landeghem, 16, won both the women’s 50-metre freestyle and 100m backstroke, and finished third in the 100m butterfly.

“The 100 backstroke stands out for me,’’ Van Landeghem said in a release. “It was my last race of the competition, I was feeling super tired and I put in a really good race. I’ve really learned to stay focused on this trip despite the fatigue and the travelling. I never got off my game.’’

Van Landeghem had also earned a silver medal in the 100m freestyle on Saturday.

TWINS WIN: Courtney Zajac scored the only goal her team needed as the Winnipeg Twins nipped the Winnipeg Vics 2-0 in the final of a girls under-19 hockey tournament in Brookings, S.D., on the weekend. Eastyn Yuen also scored for the Twins while goaltender Tracy Shick made 35 saves to record the shutout.

The Twins beat the Brookings Rangers 6-0 in a semifinal.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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