Jones just getting started

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

Jennifer Jones is happy about how her new rink has played so far this curling season.

She's even more pumped up about how good it could become.

"It's going great," Jones said last night at the Fort Rouge Curling Club, where her Winnipeg squad is competing in the $50,000 Casinos of Winnipeg Women's Classic. "We've had a pretty good start, but we can play better. That's what's exciting about it."

AMICABLE BREAKUP

Jones and second Jill Officer, of Brandon, bid adieu last February to Karen Porritt and her twin sister, Lynn Fallis-Kurz. It was an amicable breakup because Jones, the 2002 Manitoba women's champ, wanted to play more this winter to go after a 2005 Olympic Trials berth.

Jones and Officer recruited third Cathy Overton and lead Cathy Gauthier, who were both members of Connie Laliberte's 1995 Canadian championship squad that lost in the world final.

It didn't take them long to start knocking off opponents. They made it to the semifinals of a Calgary event two weeks ago and made it to the quarter-finals in Kelowna, B.C., last weekend.

They had a chance last night to get in the money for the third straight weekend but lost 7-5 to Calgary's Cheryl Bernard in a B-side qualifier. Jones and Co. were taking on Calgary's Cathy King in a C-side qualifier at press time.

Overton is also happy and excited about the new arrangement.

"Jennifer's got all the shots," Overton said. "She's a very confident player. And everyone else has what it takes.

"We've been successful, so it's hard to say it's not working."

If Jones beat King last night, she will take on Edmonton's Renee Sonnenberg, an A-side qualifier, in one of four quarter-finals this morning.

Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink was the other A-side qualifier, while Sherry Anderson, of Delisle, Sask., was the other B-side qualifier.

The other three C-side qualifiers were also being played at press time last night. Winnipeg's Joelle Duguid was taking on Kelly Scott of Kelowna, B.C., Quebec's Marie-France Larouche was battling Regina's Jan Betker and Switzerland's Mirjam Ott was facing defending champ Renelle Bryden of Calgary.

The championship round, which begins at 10 o'clock this morning, will feature Kleibrink against Duguid or Scott, Anderson versus Larouche or Betker and Bernard against Ott or Bryden.

The semifinals will be played at 1:30, with the final set for 5 o'clock.

EXTRA END: Carberry's Rob Van Kommer locked up a spot in the MCT Championship yesterday when he beat Brandon's Mike McEwen in the final of the Guild Insurance Classic at the Brandon Curling Club. The final was a skins format, and Van Kommer captured four worth $2,700, plus a $500 bonus for winning.


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