Karen Lepine has been given the opportunity to try for a repeat of her Canadian Masters Curling Championship win.
Her Cloverdale/Langley rink will return to the national championship after they triumphed at the 2016 BC Master Women’s Curling Championship in Abbotsford at the weekend.
Team Lepine has a slightly different line-up from the winning rink that travelled to nationals last year. New team member Diane Foster, who won the BC Senior title earlier this year, is playing third, and Susan Beuk has shifted to second. Donna Christian remains in the lead position. Agnes Sigurdson, who played second in 2015, is the team’s alternate.
The 2016 BC Master Curling Championships ran from March 8 to 13 at the Abbotsford Curling Club, featuring 16 teams of curlers (8 women’s and 8 men’s teams) aged 60+.
Team Lepine finished in second place after the women’s round robin play, with a 6-1 record, setting up a page 1 vs 2 playoff against Team Smiley, the only team they had lost to.
The Lepine rink was able to win the playoff game in an extra end, giving them the bye to the final.
The Royal City rink of Kathy Smiley, Kerri Miller, Janet Klebe and Laurie Shimizu, were then made to face Team Jarvos, curling on home ice at the Abbotsford club, in the semi finals. A deuce in the first and fourth ends helped the Smiley rink on their way to a 6-3 win to earn a place in the final.
It would be the third time Lepine and Smiley faced each other and it was another close one. Karen Lepine stole one in the extra end to claim the 6-5 win and the BC title.
Team Smiley were awarded the silver medals and Team Jarvos were awarded the bronze.
In men’s play, Richmond Curling Club’s Team Switzer, with skip Keith Switzer, third Vic Shimizu, second Ben Nishi and lead Wayne Saito, also won the final in an extra end, defeating Team Gelowitz of Kelowna 8-7.
The Switzer rink finished in second place in the round robin, advancing to the playoffs. They had defeated Team Gelowitz in the round robin, but lost the page 1 vs 2 game to the Gelowitz rink which meant playing in the semi finals. In that game, they beat last year’s champions, Team Will, to earn a spot in the finals for a rematch with Team Gelowitz.
Keith Switzer said: “The round robin, in itself, was tough enough – featuring a talented group of seasoned provincial curling masters, but the mountain rose sharply at the end to get by the two teams who have dominated Masters play for the past five years.”
Keith said that his team played like champs to earn the results, but they had some good fortune in the fourth end of the final in scoring multiple points – a critical edge for the balance of the match.
Team Gelowitz, the champions from 2010 and 2011, were presented with the silver medals, and Team Will, from Cranbrook, received the bronze.
This is the first BC Masters title for Team Switzer, but Keith won a BC Mixed title in 2013.
Team Lepine and Team Switzer will represent BC at the Canadian Master Curling Championships in Kings County, Nova Scotia, from April 4-10.