Kleibrink gives up her job

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:46 PM ET

Game by game. Yeah, it's one of those old and tired cliches but it means more than ever to Shannon Kleibrink and her rink this season.

So much she and lead Christine Keshen have left their jobs.

"Yup, I quit my job," said Kleibrink, who turned 37 Friday -- in the middle of the 28th annual Trail Appliances Autumn Gold Classic at the Calgary Curling Club.

"That'll help. I'm not working until at least after Christmas.

"Christine is on leave from Imperial and Glenys (Bakker) is still on maternity leave. It's only Amy (Nixon) who's trying to juggle things."

After spending the fall on the cash circuit of the Ultima Women's Curling Tour, the Kleibrink crew is focused on the Olympic trials in Halifax, Dec. 3-11.

Up for grabs is the opportunity to represent Canada at the Winter Games in Turin, Italy, Feb. 10-26.

Then, Kleibrink, third Nixon, second Bakker and lead Keshen have to defend their title at the Strauss Canada Cup in Kamloops, B.C., Jan. 31-Feb. 5.

Sandwiched in that time frame comes the Alberta playdowns for berths at the provincial Scott Tournament of Hearts, Jan. 25-29 in Edmonton, and the national Scott, Feb. 25-March 4 in London, Ont.

Whew, that's a lot of curling.

"For the moment," said Kleibrink, "this is our job."

But that doesn't mean it's all serious business. After all, there has to be some fun involved and the Kleibrink four is positively excited.

"We don't need to worry about accumulating points or anything this year," said Kleibrink, who earned her trials berth as the 2003-04 CTRS points leader.

"It's going to be a fun year, regardless of what happens. Hey, we get to go to Halifax and eat some lobster. How fun will that be?"

And handing fellow trials competitor Jo-Ann Rizzo of Brantford, Ont., an 10-3 loss in the B semifinal yesterday looked like fun.

Especially the four-ender, which started with Keshen coming around a high guard twice to sit two.

"Christine set it right up," said Kleibrink, smiling from ear to ear. "They tried to steal after that but, when that happens, sometimes you end up with a big end."

Kleibrink schooled 2005 Scott Tournament of Hearts champ Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg 10-1 in six innings of a B qualifier last night, earning her spot in today's championship round. STOH runner-up Jenn Hanna of Ottawa dumped Grande Prairie's Renee Sonnenberg 8-2 in the other B qualifier.

The C qualifiers were determined late last night. The championship round goes today, with quarter-finals at 9 a.m., semis at 12:30 p.m. and the final at 4 p.m.

At the West Coast Classic in New Westminster, B.C., Calgary's John Morris beat Saskatoon's Bruce Korte 10-4 in the B2 qualifier.


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