Meakin earns another ticket to nationals

KIRK PENTON, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:26 AM ET

Twas three nights before Christmas, and all through the Charleswood Curling Club not a creature was stirring.

That's because they were all on the edges of their seats, watching silently as St. Vital's Breanne Meakin settled into the hack with her last rock in the extra end of the Manitoba junior women's curling final against Victoria's Kate Cameron.

The rock, which needed to stop in the four foot, looked for a while like it was going to be long. A few nervous shouts of 'No!" emerged from the Meakin supporters in the crowd behind the glass.

All of a sudden the rock came to a halt, and Meakin had won her third Buffalo in the last four years thanks to the 5-4 victory.

The rock picked, but Meakin, 19, said they didn't need the debris to score the winning point.

"It was there," she said assuredly. "It was about back four."

Meakin's second, Mariah Mondor, was a little less confident as the rock hurtled towards the house.

"I was so scared it was heavy, and (then) it picked," the 16-year-old said. "But it was going to be all right anyways."

Meakin, who is coached by her father Rob, a former world men's champ, will represent Manitoba at the Canadian championship in Sorel-Tracy, Que., Jan. 16-24.

That event will be old hat for Breanne Meakin, who has been to nationals twice -- and worlds once -- as a lead. She won world silver with Kaitlyn Lawes last year and went to nationals with Calleen Neufeld in 2007.

"To be going as a skip is different," Meakin said, "but I'm looking forward to it."

It will be a different story for her teammates, whom she recruited after Lawes, Jenna Loder (who were both in the crowd yesterday) and Laryssa Grenkow graduated from the junior ranks. Mondor, along with third Briane Meilleur, 17, and lead Krysten Karwacki, 18, had never competed at provincials until this year.

Now they're off to nationals.

"I'm excited," Mondor said. "Nervous."

Cameron, who won last year's Manitoba high school girls' curling title, stole one in the eighth to take a 3-2 lead, but Meakin scored two in the ninth to take a 4-3 lead.

Cameron was cool as a cucumber when she drew to the button in the 10th to force the extra end.

She junked it up as much as she could in the 11th, but her draw with her final stone slipped to the back of the four foot instead of the top. That gave Meakin an open door for the draw.

"It sucks, especially getting to an extra," Cameron said. "We tried our best. I don't know if her pick really meant anything, but whatever."

Cameron beat Stonewall's Meghan Armit 10-4 in yesterday morning's semifinal.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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