Meilleur one step closer to repeat
By Jim Bender, QMI Agency
|Manitoba curler Briane Meilleur. (COURTESY CANADIAN CURLING ASSOCIATION)
WINNIPEG - She is hoping to carry on the winning tradition she helped establish.
St. Vital’s Briane Meilleur, who won the last two Manitoba junior women’s titles at third for Breanne Meakin, skipped her own squad into this year’s provincials where she will be an early favourite to repeat.
Meilleur clipped Victoria’s Alyssa Vandepoele — last year’s runner-up — 7-6 to win one of the two spots up for grabs at a berth bonspiel in Ste. Anne on Sunday. Krysten Karwacki, who played lead for Meakin the last two years, is now playing third for Meilleur.
“We’re sure hoping we’ll do well again,” Meilleur said from Ste. Anne shortly after the win. “I feel confident and I think we’ll do well.”
Meilleur, 19, has Amy Agnew at second and Megan Grenkow at lead.
“It feels good,” said Meilleur, who will make only her third trip to the provincials. “We’re pretty happy.”
Joining Meilleur for the 2012 Canola Junior Women’s Championship in Minnedosa, Jan. 5-9, will be Assiniboine Memorial’s Katie Spencer. The daughter of former Brier champion Jim and former Manitoba women’s champ Barb, Katie edged La Salle’s Kayla Curtis 9-7.
MOVING UP: Meanwhile, a shift in positions proved positive for one junior men’s team.
Cole Peters of Deer Lodge moved from second to skip and it paid off with a trip to the 2012 Canola Junior Men’s Championship at the West Kildonan Curling Club from Jan. 5-9.
Peters squeaked by St. Vital’s Matt Dunstone 4-3 to earn one of two trips available at a berth spiel in Morden.
“It hasn’t really set in yet, but it’s a little bit crazy,” Peters said from Morden. “I’ve never been in the provincials before so, it feels good to finally win one.”
Peters, who is 15, traded places with Nick Good (the younger brother of former Manitoba junior champion Sam Good). Conner McIntyre remained at third with Robbie Gordon at lead.
Joey Witherspoon of Fort Rouge beat Assiniboine Memorial’s Derek Blanchard 9-6 to earn the other berth.
BITERS: Manitoba’ Jennifer Jones qualified at a WCT women’s cashspiel in Red Deer, Alta., guaranteeing her team at least $2,500. Manitoba’s Cathy Overton-Clapham was playing in a ‘C’ qualifier late Sunday … Both Manitoba’s Mike McEwen and Jeff Stoughton earned $5,500 for qualifying at the Grand Slam in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., but failed to advance … The final for the MCT spiel at the Rossmere Curling Club will be played Monday at 7 p.m. The semifinals were being played late Sunday.