Olys throw wrench into junior berths

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

The Olympics have not only caused major changes to the local curling schedule, it has caused havoc in the awarding of junior provincial berths.

Because the Junior Christmas Bonspiel is being held after this year's junior men's and junior women's provincials, the four berths that are usually awarded there have been re-shuffled. One junior men's and one junior women's spot were added to the floating berth bonspiel and have already been awarded.

One provincial berth has been added to the junior men's city zone playdowns, which start at the Rossmere Curling Club today, based on the number of entries. The four losing zone finalists will play off for that last spot at the Granite Curling Club next week, likely starting Tuesday.

But the extra junior women's berth will be added to rural zone 5 (Holland area), based on the large number of entries there.

Further complicating matters was that only one junior women's team was entered between two zones so that team, Miami's Carly Angers, has already been awarded a trip to the provincials, to be held at the Charleswood Curling Club, Dec. 18-22. The zones in question cover the Morden-Carman and La Salle regions.

"It's always disappointing when you pair two zones and only get one team," Curl Manitoba executive director Shane Ray admitted yesterday. "We're very surprised with it ... What is even more surprising is that Morden ran a junior clinic and everybody who took it signed up for a junior league there."

Ray was not sure how many juniors had attended the clinic, though.

TOP SEEDS: Pembina's reigning junior men's provincial champion Sam Good was only deemed the No. 3 seed for the city zones. Assiniboine Memorial's Michael Johnson was No. 1 and Pembina's Daniel Birchard, No. 2. Granite's Matt Dunstone and Joel Hildebrand of Deer Lodge round out the top five.

Victoria's Kate Cameron is the top seed in the junior women's zones, followed by West St. Paul's Kelsey Boettcher, Pembina's Shannon Birchard, Lindsay Robertson of Fort Rouge and Victoria's Ashley Resler, in that order.

ROCKS TO RESCUE: The World Curling Federation has decided not to allow the CCA to play the same rocks that will be used at the 2010 Winter Olympics at the Canadian Curling Trials, despite the fact they were used at the pre-trials in Prince George, B.C. So, the well-travelled MCA rocks will be sent to Edmonton for the trials, Ray said.

Manitoba's world-renowned icemaker Hans Wuthrich will be handling those duties in Edmonton and the Olympics.

ASHAM HONOURED: The Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce has awarded Arnold Asham of Asham Curling Supplies this year's Lifetime Achievement Award, the ACC announced. Asham will be presented with the award at a gala dinner tomorrow night.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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