A recipe for success

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

GIMLI -- A third dimension of sorts will come into play in this version of the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Many former skips have stepped down to third to strengthen their current teams.

For example, Kristen Williamson threw off the skip's mantle to become Barb Spencer's right-hand woman. As a result, Spencer has enjoyed her best season since her older sister, Darcy Robertson, decided to skip her own squad.

As a result, the Fort Rouge foursome topped the Manitoba Curling Tour standings, winning the women's championship.

"Third makes or breaks the game," Williamson said yesterday. "If your third's not playing well, your skip's in trouble.

If your third's playing well, then your skip has easier shots and that's what I've been trying to do, trying to give the skip the easiest shot."

But Williamson, who skipped a squad to a Manitoba junior championship, said the transition was not that easy at first.

"At the beginning of the year, it was definitely hard to give up that control you have in the game," she said. "But Barb's a great skip and calls a great game and I have a lot of trust in her."

So well that Spencer has claimed she will not be intimidated by St. Vital's defending champion Jennifer Jones.

"We've been very steady since the beginning of the season," said Williamson, 23. "We've lost 17 games in total the whole season so we just want to make sure we win the right ones."

Likewise, Beausejour's Quinn Adams stepped down to play third for four-time women's provincial champion Maureen Bonar.

"At first, it was a little bit weird because I was so used to being in control all of the time," admitted Adams, "So, it was kind of like a transfer. I feel like I have to trust a little bit more, especially Maureen, and I think I've adapted OK."

With Quinn's two sisters, Megan and Leigh, on the front end, Bonar earned $6,500 on the MCT this season.

"It's been a really good year," said Bonar, who had taken note of Quinn's talent at previous provincials. "We've been gelling and every bonspiel, we learned something new. We've tried to key up on that. They have a lot of spirit.

"It's been a long two years getting back to this level and I'm excited for our team. The passion has always been there. It's just maybe a little stronger with this group than in the past."

Meanwhile, Lisa Fargey has returned from a two-year sojourn to the U.S. to help Morden's Chelsea Carey qualify for the provincials while Patti Burtnyk is calling the shots but playing third for St. Vital's Calleen Neufeld.

R.I.P.: They laid TV broadcasting legend Don Wittman to rest yesterday. His great memories will live on in all the sports he covered so well. Thank you, Witt.


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