Try and try again

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

Dave Olsen's early curling history has an eery similarity to Randy Ferbey's.

Both went to high school at Eastglen in northeast Edmonton and both started chucking rocks out of the venerable Thistle Curling Club.

That's about where their career patch took different turns.

"He's on the Wall of Fame," said Olsen. "I'm not. He's won a few more things."

Olsen edged Colin Griffith of Sexsmith 7-5 in yesterday's final of the Alberta senior men's championship at the Granite Club.

With the win Olsen, third Doug Roche, second Ed McConaghy and lead Dennis Nowicki earn a trip to the senior nationals in a month's time at Summerside, P.E.I.

Edmonton teams have had an illustrious history at the senior nationals. Marv Wirth won a world seniors championship and two years ago Pat Ryan brought home a world senior titles.

A tough act to follow?

"Marv and Pat had pretty good runs for a couple of years," said Olsen, who will try to follow in their slide paths. "Everything we go into, we try to be competitive. We'll see how we do in the nationals. If you're wearing Alberta colours, you want to do well."

Olsen and Roche had only appeared at one men's provincial, when they played front end for Gerry Wilson in 1986.

"I've been wanting to get an Alberta crest on my back for a lot of years," said Olsen, 55. "I've been playing for 40 years. I've been wanting that crest for about 35 of them. That'll be a nice trip going to P.E.I."

Olsen's story hearkens back to a more simpler time, when curling was less a business and more something four closer friends did over a lifetime.

After 28 years of trying, Olsen and the high school buddies he's curled with ever since can claim they won their first-ever Alberta title.

"We've known each other ever since high school, probably 38 years," said Olsen, who finally hit the jackpot when the entire team became eligible (50 years and older) at the senior level.

Olsen has a fascinating personal connection with the Thistle Club.

"I was almost born there," Olsen said. "My mom started curling the year after I was born. They had a little daycare there for the kids, so she'd take me there and somebody would babysit."

Later, when he was in his mid-20's, the club literally became a home for Olsen and Roche.

"Dougie and I lived there once. They had a caretaker's suite and it was sitting empty. It was free rent, close to the bar and back then it was a good thing."

In the women's final, Calgary's Peggy Harper found herself with an interesting situation in the eighth end.

Hit for one or try a tricky angle-double for four.

Harper made the no guts, no glory choice and executed her shot for a 9-3 win over Grande Prairie's Norma Huitt.

"The big thing was, when we talked about hitting for one, it was a small hole and right away I said to Judy (third Pendergast) maybe we should just take our one," said Harper. "But if I'd overcurled and ticked, they would have taken two and I didn't want to go into nine tied.

"We just said, you know what, the double's there and it's the game, so let's play it."


Videos

Photos