November 9, 2010
Ottawa curlers ready to mix it up
By JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency
Here’s hoping for a mixed blessing.
Two Ottawa curlers leave Friday for Morris, Man., to compete in the Canadian mixed championships.
Chris Gardner and Erin Morrissey throw skip and third, respectively, on Ontario’s representative in the 12-team, round-robin tournament that runs Nov. 13-20.
Gardner, who has won as a mixed skip as a bantam, junior and adult, also has Peterborough’s Brad Kidd and North Bay’s Kim Brown on his team.
The foursome won Ontario last spring, but “we haven’t been on the ice together since last April,” said Gardner.
However, Gardner skips Kidd, who throws second on Gardner’s men’s rink, while both Morrissey and Brown play for Peterborough’s Lisa Farnell on the women’s circuit, the former as third and Brown as second.
So, is the skip ready for mixed?
“I was focused more on my men’s team during the year, but as the time gets closer and closer, it’s definitely kicking in and I’m looking forward to it.”
But is this event one big party?
“Mixed is certainly a more social event than hardcore competitive. At the same time it’s still intense on the ice,” said Gardner. “We’ll be taking it seriously on the ice, but enjoying ourselves off the ice.
“We are going thinking that we can win. We could go 3-8 or 11-0. A Canadian championship is a nice thing to put on a resume.”
Sunday finals pitted A-side qualifiers against B-side qualifiers on both the men’s and women’s side. Scotland’s Lauren Grey defeated Toronto’s Katie Lindsay 7-6 in the final. Earlier in the ’spiel, both teams battled it out for the A-side bracket championship, where the Scottish girls prevailed 5-4. Ottawa’s Mat Camm went down to defeat 8-7 in an extra-end squeaker to Manitoba’s Joey Witherspoon. Witherspoon’s team bested Camm 7-1 in six ends in the A-side bracket game. Both champions earned $3,000 each, while the runners-up earned $1,600 each. The $1,000 semi-finalists were Peter de Cruz from Switzerland, Cody Johnston from Thunder Bay, Switzerland’s Manuela Siegrist and Jessica Daigle from New Brunswick.
WOMEN’S FALL CLASSIC
Ottawa’s Christine McCrady defeated two A-side teams on her way to claim the championship in Kemptville on Sunday. McCrady beat 2008 winner Rachel Homan convincingly 7-3 in the semi-final when McCrady scored four in the fifth end. She then beat Sudbury’s Tracy Horgan 7-5 in the final. The game bounced back and forth until McCrady landed three points in the sixth. McCrady, curling with Kellie Buchanan, Lisa Paddle and Audrey Frey, pocketed $5,000, while Horgan got $2,600. The semi-finalists, Homan and Barb Kelly, each received $1,700.