Breanne Meakin following in her dad's footsteps

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

Breanne Meakin's curling dream includes her dad.

"It would be great to go to the Olympics or to win a world championship one day -- with my dad coaching," she said yesterday.

That would be Rob Meakin, who played second for Manitoba's Kerry Burtnyk when he won the 1995 world championship and who just helped guide the USA's Deb McCormick to a silver medal at the recent women's world championship as the technical director for the U.S. Curling Association. Meakin, who was also at the Olympics with the USA's Cassie Johnson, was with Burtnyk when he lost the 2001 Olympic trials final to Alberta's Kevin Martin.

And, at only 15, Breanne is already following in familiar footsteps. Her Wildewood foursome has already qualified for what organizers are calling a Canada Winter Games trials event, to be played in December -- one of 10 girls teams that have qualified. Like the Winter Olympics, the Games occur every four years.

"It's been a really good year and we're proud of what we've accomplished," Meakin said before defeating Winnipeg's Shauna Malo 7-5 in the Youth Jamboree's 16-and-under provincial final at the West Kildonan Curling Club last night. Meakin will represent Manitoba at the Optimist International Under-17 Curling Championships next year.

Malo, who defeated Eastman's Alyssa Vandepoele 10-8 in a semifinal, also has a trials berth.

Supported by third Kristyn Vanwelleghem, 16, second Meghan Knutson, 15 and Aynsley O'Donovan, 15, Meakin qualified for her first junior provincial championship earlier this season, where she posted an impressive 5-2 mark.

And the Grade 10 student credited her pop for her early success.

"He teaches me a lot about the game," said Meakin, who whipped Winnipeg's Kate Cameron 12-1 in a semifinal. "He's a great coach."

SPECIAL PLAYOFF

Cameron was playing Vandepoele in a special playoff for the last trials spot last night.

On the boys side, Winnipeg's Brian Thomson clipped Interlake's Trevor Hoplock 8-5 in a semifinal to earn the last available trials spot through this event.

"It's like the Olympic trials sort of, at least for us kids it is," said Thomson, supported by third Michael Johnson, second Kent Moffatt and John Grogan, all 16. "It means a lot because we've been trying to get there for a while. We're all really happy."

Thomson then defeated Central's Alex Forrest 6-3 in the 16-and-under boys final and will represent Manitoba in next year's international championships. Forrest, who defeated Interlake's Jared Kolomaya 7-3 in the other semifinal, already had one of the 10 trials spots. So did Kolomaya.

The other trials-bound squads on the girls side are: Tiffany McLean, Jackelynn Payne, Krysten Janz, Katie Kruk, Lisa Bartley, Christine Montford and Danielle Wood.

Rounding out the boys side are: Gavin Strath, Steen Sigurdson, Ty Pettyjohn, Riley Smith, Cotton Lychuk and Tyler McIntyre.

BITER: Last year's champs -- Jim Coleman and Kaitlyn Lawes -- are currently competing at the international championships in Calgary. Both were 3-1 heading into the final draw last night.


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