'Bit of magic' carrying Jenion to new heights

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

SOURIS -- Kristy Jenion has officially arrived on Manitoba's women's curling scene. Sure, the 25-year-old Winnipegger has been around for a while and is playing in her fourth provincial women's curling championship, but life has never been this good before.

After losing her first game of the week, Jenion rattled off six straight victories to claim first place in her round-robin pool yesterday at the Scott Tournament of Hearts at Murray Arena.

Jenion, the No. 6 seed, kept her stupendous streak going last night when she beat defending champ and top seed Lois Fowler, of Brandon, 5-2 in the 1-vs-1 Page playoff game. That got her a date in this afternoon's final at 1:30. She will meet the winner of this morning's semifinal between Fowler and St. Vital's Jennifer Jones, who beat Brandon's Liza Park 7-6 in last night's 2-vs-2 game.

Jenion appeared at the Scott in 2001 and 2002 as the second and third, respectively, for Barb Spencer. In her first year as a skip in 2003, Jenion had a 4-3 round-robin record and missed the playoffs. Last year, she failed to qualify.

Hindsight is 20-20, but Jenion claims she saw her success this year coming.

"Yup, we've got a little bit of magic on our team right now," she said. "Actually, it's been like that all year.

"The chemistry is great, we get along really well, we have a great time, and things are just working well."

Jenion, who is supported by Lisa Roy, Leslie Wilson and Raunora Westcott, said her team is mentally strong, which means they aren't happy just to make the playoffs.

"It takes some people a long time to get to this point," Jenion said. "I'm really glad to have such a great team and to have things working out the way they are."

HEY NOW, YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR: Jenion put a feather in her cap last night when she was voted the event's all-star skip by the Manitoba Curling Media Association.

The other all-stars were: third Tasha Hunter (Brandon's Kristen Williamson), second Maureen Bonar (Brandon's Lois Fowler) and lead Cathy Gauthier (St. Vital's Jennifer Jones).

KUDOS: Crowds have been solid this week at Murray Arena, as has the attendance at the daily lunches and dinners. The Heart Stop Saloon has also been pulling in a plethora of partiers nightly.

The host committee expects to turn a profit of at least $40,000, and Manitoba Curling Association officials yesterday said Souris has done a "remarkable" job in putting on their first provincial championship in an arena.

THOUGHTS, FEELINGS? The MCA did its annual exit poll of teams, and only three of the 16 rinks complained about the round-robin format. That's a low number compared to previous years.

AND FINALLY: The seemingly never-ending 117th MCA Men's Bonspiel will finally come to a conclusion tomorrow night. Undefeated Randy Dutiaume, of Valour Road, will meet the Heather's Adam Norget at Elmwood Curling Club at 5 o'clock.


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