Fading dreams

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

All the money in the world can't buy an Olympic Trials berth for Cathy King.

King's rink has won $43,550 this season, more than any other team on the women's cashspiel circuit.

Yet King's rink sits No. 3 in the Canadian Team Ranking System. Talk to her a while and you can hear an unmistakable sense of frustration.

"Money is not really that important right now," said King. "It doesn't matter how much we've won. We have to do it the other ways."

There's frustration about her performance at last month's Canada Cup West. King was undefeated going into the playoff round, but lost her first game to Michelle Englot.

"Too bad we lost," said King. "We were playing well and just came out flat in that game. A win would have qualified us for the Canada Cup (as a top-four finisher)."

And, another shot at a Trials spot.

To completely understand the workings of the CTRS would require a slide rule and a PhD in applied mathematics.

BAFFLED BY THE COMPLEXITY

King is not the only curler to be baffled by the complexity of the system, which dispenses points on a weighing formula that acts somewhat like a degree of difficulty based on strength of field.

What's got King's dander up is how her team was denied complete credit for their $30,000 win at the BDO Classic at Kelowna.

"They only gave us credit for $25,000," said King. "Or, it might have been $20,000 or $15,000. I really don't know. Maybe because it was such a big amount on the women's tour, it became a big deal. All I was told was the amount was capped."

Calgary's Cheryl Bernard leads the bid for the CTRS spot with 75.55 points. Calgary's Renelle Bryden is second with 70.87 and King has 64.42.

The CTRS points leader as of April 30 gets the 10th Olympic Trials spot.

"It really is very confusing," said King. "It's too hard to figure out when they weighed it, then capped it. Without the capping, we would have been much closer."

About the only way King has left to make up some CTRS ground on Bernard is to represent Alberta at the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

THREE SPOTS FOR GRABS AT WOMEN'S NORTHERNS

Just to get to the provincials, King will have to win one of three spots up for grabs at the women's northerns tomorrow and Sunday at Ellerslie.

"I just know we have to win in the next few weekends," said King."There's not much else we can do. We don't have any other way to go to the Olympic Trials."

One thing's for sure. The CTRS system is experiencing growing pains. There's plenty of issues to be sorted out, including a sense by the women players that their concerns about the points system are being ignored.

It'll get straightened out eventually, but not quickly enough for King.

"I probably won't be curling anymore by then," said King.

EXTRA ENDS: Seems like we didn't credit Randy Ferbey with his Continental Cup winnings in last week's tabulations. Eagle-eyed Sweep! editor Bob Garvin e-mailed his monthly curling magazine's Money Trail list. We had Martin correct as this year's all-inclusive money leader with $194,500 in earnings. Heading into a spiel at Perth, Scotland this weekend, No. 2 Ferbey had actually won $144,716 .... Carter Rycroft, second for the Kevin Martin team, became a first-time father Wednesday when his wife Sheila delivered a baby girl.


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