Junior event a runaway success

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

Local juniors have a rocking tour of their own now and it got off to a great start over the weekend.

In fact, there was even a waiting list on the junior men's side of the Stonewall Junior Classic at the Stonewall Curling Club, the first of six events on the inaugural Manitoba Junior Curling Tour.

"The weekend has been a success, the sponsorship was really good and Stonewall is a gorgeous club," Eric Wasylenko, the Tour's founder, said from Stonewall yesterday. "And the competition was really good."

There were 16 junior men's teams and 11 on the junior women's side, including one from B.C.

Pembina's Daniel Birchard beat Stonewall's Kennedy Bird 7-2 in the junior men's final to earn $530. Bird got $350.

Birchard will share his earnings with third Kelly Fordyce, second Brody Moore and lead Andrew Peck.

"It's good to win this because there are a lot of good teams here," said Birchard, 15. "It's pretty exciting (to win first Tour event)."

On the junior women's side, Assiniboine Memorial's Michelle Montford whipped West St. Paul's Kelsey Boettcher 8-2 in four ends in the final to win $500. Boettcher settled for $320.

Montford was supported by third Courtney Blanchard, second Sara Jones and lead Sarah Norget.

"We didn't lose a game and it was really good competition here," said Montford, 20. "It just started this year so it feels really good to win the first one."

The next one goes in Dauphin, Oct. 17-19, and plans are in the works for a MJCT Championship, to be played some time after the junior provincial playdowns.

"We hope to be able to announce a time and location for that soon," said Wasylenko.

You can find more info on the Tour's website: www.manitobajuniorcurlingtour.net.

STEAL TO WIN: Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton stole the winning point in an extra end to nip Saskatchewan's Joel Jordison 8-7 in the final of the World/Manitoba Curling Tour's inaugural Manitoba Lotteries Classic final in Brandon. With Kevin Park at third, Stoughton earned $12,000 while Jordison settled for $7,000.

Manitoba's David Bohn and Allan Lyburn each pocketed $4,500 after losing the semifinals.

MCEWEN IN THE MONEY: Manitoba's Mike McEwen took home $7,500 after losing the semifinal at the WCT's BDO Classic in Oakville, Ont.

Manitoba's Kerry Burtnyk and Daley Peters pocketed $5,000 each for qualifying there.

SLAM CASH FOR SPENCER: Barb Spencer was the only Manitoba team to qualify at the first women's Grand Slam in Calgary on the weekend. But she dropped a 5-4 decision to Alberta's Cheryl Bernard in her quarter-final match and pocketed $4,000.

Manitoba's reigning women's world champion Jennifer Jones failed to qualify for the second straight event.

JR SURPRISE: Alex Forrest, a junior from Deer Lodge who was a last-minute fill-in, edged Lac du Bonnet's Brad Haight 7-6 in the final of the MCT's Nott Autocorp Thanksgiving Open at the Thistle Curling Club to win $2,300. Haight got $1,400.

HARVEY ON TOP: Janet Harvey of Fort Rouge defeated Morden's Chelsea Carey 7-4 in the final of the MCT's Atkins Curling Supplies Women's Classic at the Charleswood Curling Club to earn $3,500. Carey cashed a $2,000 cheque.


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