Heather aims high

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

SYLVAN LAKE -- Heather Nedohin has been in the winners' circle before.

After winning the 1996 world junior title, Nedohin's shot-making ability as a third helped Cathy King win the 1998 Scott Tournament of Hearts -- the only title an Alberta team has brought home since 1961.

Striking out on her own, Nedohin skipped her own team to an Alberta championship in 2000.

After various roles throwing last rocks for other skips, Nedohin is back skipping her own provincials entry for the first time since 2001 with a lineup that was put together last year.

"We have a very dynamic team," said Nedohin. "When we formed this team, we had the anticipation of reaching some very achievable goals."

Nedohin qualified for this year's provincial, grabbing the Alberta Tour spot bye with a lineup that includes three members whose husbands will be playing in the men's provincials at Wainwright.

"To avoid or bypass the northerns, knowing the strength of field we have up there, we're pleased to be here," said Nedohin.

Nedohin's husband Dave throws last rocks for Randy Ferbey. Lead Pam Appelman's husband Ted grabbed the men's Alberta Tour spot.

Third Beth Iskiw's husband Blayne throws third rocks for Jamie King, who earned a spot to the men's provincial on Saturday.

SUPPORT

"It's actually really nice to have support from our husbands because they understand," said Nedohin.

"They can take care of the kids or take care of the house while we're committed to our dreams.

"Yes, they're all contending for the same things but we just hope of the three, one of them comes out of the province.

"I had to buy the drinks because of the darned Skins (won by Ferbey)."

Iskiw is expecting the couple's second child in April and the team has recruited Calgary's Renelle Bryden as a fifth just in case.

Iskiw should be OK this weekend, but if the team heads off to Victoria for the 2009 Scotties ...

"That's a problem that I hope we'll have, for sure," said Iskiw, who represented Nova Scotia in the 2002 and 2004 nationals. "We'll play it by ear. Renelle can play any position, and we're comfortable with that.

DECISION

"Hopefully, that's a decision we may have to make. For now, we have to get our stuff done here and not even think about it."

The Nedohins had a unique streak this decade. Heather's national appearance in 2000 was followed by Dave's five-year run as Alberta champ.

Then Nedohin made it seven in a row when she went to the Canadian mixed.

"Coming out of Alberta is always tough," said Nedohin.

"To be able to have the run both of us did was amazing. Looking forward, I hope we can restart the streak. That would always be fun."

Since there's not much difference between the top half-dozen teams here, anything is possible.

"Alberta is strong," Nedohin said. "In the Peace, north and south, we have representation of past provincial winners from every part of the province.

"I have no predictions as to who would come out. This week, you have to contend with past winners."

EXTRA ENDS: Edmonton-based teams have grabbed the top five spots in seedings for the Alberta men's championship in Wainwright next month. Kevin Martin, Randy Ferbey, Kevin Koe, Ted Appelman and Jamie King were picked as the teams to beat by the field.


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