Suffice to say, she spent a lot of anxious moments over Christmas. Victoria's Chelsea Carey, one of the top junior women's curlers for the past few years, did not know if she would even make it back to the Target Junior Men's and Women's Provincial Championships in her last year as a junior.
Carey, 20, had been upset in the city zone playdowns, leaving the precarious Junior Christmas Bonspiel as her last chance. Even then, she had to make it through the most difficult route possible -- by winning the one-day berth playoff.
Well, not only did Carey emerge victorious there, her foursome has ridden that momentum to an unblemished 4-0 record at the provincials in Brandon.
"Obviously, this was always our goal and we caught a few breaks to get here, and started to play better," Carey said from Brandon moments after clobbering Gillam's Courtney Reeves 9-1 at the Brandon Curling Club yesterday. "And we've got some breaks here, and we've been playing pretty good so far."
Carey is also well aware that St. Vital's Kristen Williamson won the Manitoba title after qualifying for the 2002 provincials the same way.
Supported by third Kristen Loder, 20, second Elisabeth Peters and Mary-Jane McKenzie, both 17, Carey is the only one in her pool who has yet to suffer a loss. And because her foursome qualified so late, it was not even seeded.
"That's made our pool a little tougher," Carey said. "But I didn't mind it because people get so uptight about the seeds anyway.
"There's been some upsets but we still have to play all the top seeds. In the round-robin format, you're never safe."
Carey plays Pembina's top-ranked Kaitlyn Lawes and Petersfield's fifth-seeded Rhonda Varnes, both 3-1, today. But her team does have an advantage in that both Loder and Peters have experienced winning the provincials with Victoria's Allison Nimik in 2001.
"They've talked about it a lot and how badly they want to get back there (nationals)," Carey said.
Then there's those bloodlines.
Dan Carey, who played third for Vic Peters when he won the 1992 Brier, is Chelsea's dad and Elisabeth is Vic's daughter.
In the other pool, Kaileigh Strath of Souris, Granite's Heather Pierson, Brandon's Erin Mahoney and Nimik were 3-0 heading into the late draw.
On the junior men's side, Steinbach's top-seeded Dan Kammerlock and Heather's Adam Norget were 4-0 while Fort Garry's defending champion Daley Peters, Winkler's David Kraichy and Pembina's Jim Coleman were 3-0 before the last draw.