Chalk up a half-dozen provincial championships for Brandon's Lois Fowler.
The four-time Manitoba women's champion beat fellow Brandonite Linda Van Daele 6-5 in the Mondetta Senior Women's Provincial Championship final at the Fort Garry Curling Club yesterday afternoon. And she won her first senior title with a shot that would have made Team Canada's Jennifer Jones proud.
Fowler executed a double-raise jam and rolled to the button for the winning point with the hammer in the 10th end.
"Wow, what a thrill," said Fowler, who has also won a Manitoba Mixed title. "I've never had to make a shot like that to win a championship ... It was a great game and Linda had just made such a great shot.
"But I'm just so happy for my teammates because we've had such a great year and now, they've got an opportunity to go to the nationals."
Supported by third Gwen Wooley, second Lori Manning and Lynn Sandercock, Fowler will represent Manitoba at the Canadian Senior Men's and Women's Championships in Summerside, P.E.I., March 22-29.
"I'd really like to win the Canadians because Mabel Mitchell is a good friend and she is the only Manitoban to ever win a senior women's national championship (1983), and I'd like to do it for her," said Fowler, who had eliminated Minnedosa's defending champion Jean Garbolinsky 9-3 in the semifinal.
ANOTHER FIRST: Hamiota's Brent Strachan also won his first Manitoba title but in his first try as a senior. Strachan clipped Carman's Bob Bartley 6-4 in the Strathcona Senior Men's Provincial Championship final in Carman.
"It feels terrific," said Strachan, who just turned 50. "My team played really well.
"All those years at the men's provincials, we didn't really feel like we had a legitimate chance and just wanted to put on a show. But coming in here, we felt we had as good a chance as anyone else."
Supported by third Dale Brooks, second Tim Weber and Jim Strath, Strachan will join Fowler at the nationals in P.E.I.
"We're really looking forward to that and a chance to represent our province," Strachan said. "Wearing that Buffalo will make us feel very proud."
TSN SCORES BIG: Although a NASCAR race cut into the beginning of the game, TSN scored a record 928,000 viewers for Sunday's Hearts final between Jones and B.C.'s Marla Mallett -- up 6% over last year's final between Jones and Alberta's Shannon Kleibrink on CBC, TSN announced.
MIXED SEEDS: West Kildonan's former provincial champion Reid Carruthers has been named the No. 1 seed for the Mixed city zone playdowns, to be played at the Charleswood Curling Club, March 5-8.
Carruthers will skip a new squad with Chelsea Carey at third and Kevin Mark at second. Sarah Wazney returns at lead.
Deer Lodge's reigning provincial champion Sean Grassie is No. 2 mainly because he has a new foursome. Joining Grassie are Tracey Lavery, second Scott McCamis and lead Raunora Westcott. Rounding out the top five are West Kildonan's Trevor Loreth, Rossmere's Andrew Wickman and West St. Paul's Rob Cosens, in that order.