Perennial contender. It's a description Diane Foster accepts with a sigh.
"Yeah, I am," she said yesterday at the southern women's curling playdowns in Airdrie.
"It's nice to have all the southerns pins and everything else but until you make it to provincials time after time after time, it gives you that many more shots of getting to the (national) Scott.
"Perennial at southerns is nice but it would be nice to be a perennial at provincials."
Of course, now she can start that quest.
Following last night's 6-5 victory over Calgary's Renelle Bryden in the A final, Foster became the southerns' first qualifier for the Alberta Scott Tournament in Lethbridge, Jan. 26-30.
Foster stole two in the 10th when Bryden missed on a takeout attempt.
It wasn't even the first tense moment Foster, third Nicole Seibert, second Raylynn Watkins and lead Jackie Brett experienced yesterday.
In the morning draw, the Garrison club dispatched Heather Rankin of Calgary to the B side with a 5-4 decision in the A semi.
A hit and stick for two in the fifth gave Foster a 4-1 lead but Rankin bounced back for her own deuce in the sixth.
Foster blanked the seventh and then found a shade of trouble in the eighth. Seibert was a little heavy putting up a guard, paving the way for Rankin to steal one and tie the game at 4-4.
Foster cleared the house in the ninth to keep the hammer for the final end.
Facing Rankin's one at the back of the 8 ft., Foster threw what she thought was routine draw weight.
The rock seemed a little quick, stirring some 'uh-ohs' in the gallery but it came to rest just in time.
"The girls were yelling and I thought 'oh no,' " she said.
"I thought we were fine until they were yelling."
No worries, of course, and Foster walked away with the win.
"We're playing so well. We're so tight as a team," she said, noting a non-qualifying performance at the Canada Cup West last month was a big confidence builder.
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ON THE ROCKS: Four-time provincial champion Deb Santos earned a berth to the provincial Scott Tournament of Hearts. Santos beat Cindy Serna 5-2 in the A final of the northern playdowns at the Ellerslie club yesterday in Edmonton ... The B semifinals at southerns go today at 10 a.m., followed by the final at 2:30 p.m.