Neufeld on a mission

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

She has won the Manitoba junior women's crown a record-tying three straight times.

Now, St. Vital's Calleen Neufeld wants to take the next step as her foursome heads to the national junior championships.

"We're more confident and more determined than we have ever been before," said Neufeld, who lost last year's final to Saskatchewan's Mandy Selzer (since graduated). "We're better prepared mentally and we know what to expect there. We're on a mission."

Third Sabrina Neufeld (no relation), and second Laryssa Grenkow -- both 18 -- were with Calleen the last two years but lead Breanne Meakin, 16, will make her national debut.

"She has been very mature about it and asking a lot us questions about what goes on there," said Neufeld, 20.

And, as last year's runner-up, Neufeld will likely have a target on her back.

"Yeah, I guess so but we're out to get them, too," Neufeld countered.

Although the Manitoba champs did not have a great game when they played USA's former world champion Deb McCormick in an exhibition match during the Winnipeg Grand Slam at the MTS Centre, that did not bother Neufeld.

"That was just to get the feel of the atmosphere to know what it would be like if we do get to the final," she said. "And I liked it. It was fun."

Besides, Neufeld had beaten McCormick when there was cash on the line earlier in the year. And her squad just won the recent Springfield Ladies Open (where she won a crockpot).

The field includes the youngest skip in Canadian junior women's history as the Yukon's Sarah Koltun is only 13.

CBC will televise the junior women's final live on Feb. 11 at 11:30 a.m.


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