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Team Tao wins semifinals and trip to nationals

January 01, 2020

A commanding 11-6 win over Team Colwell has given Team Tao a spot in the final and a trip to the New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships.

This year, because BC is hosting the nationals in Langley and because Nunavut could not field a junior men’s team for nationals, two BC men’s teams will compete.

Team Sato, from Royal City Curling Club, had earlier won the bye to the final after finishing top in round robin play and now they will be joined by Team Tao.

This is the first provincial final for skip Johnson Tao and his team with connections to the Richmond, Vancouver and Port Moody curling clubs. It will take place at 10:00 a.m. PST tomorrow (Jan. 2).

Tao said: “It feels great. Knowing that we have earned a spot to nationals is amazing. To be able to go there and have a really good learning experience and grow in the sport is a really great feeling.”

He said the team plans to put everything into the final. “The BC jacket is the goal. We’d love to represent BC. But Sato is playing really well so we need to keep the momentum going and see what we can do.”

Tao credited the Curl BC High Performance Program for helping the team develop over the past year.

Team Taylor, representing Royal City and Tunnel Town curling clubs, and Team Daniels, representing Delta Thistle Curling Club, play each other in the semis at 3:00 p.m. PST today.

Team Buchy, from Kimberley, Vernon and Kelowna curling clubs will meet them in the final tomorrow (Jan. 2) at 2:00 p.m.

The 2020 BC Junior Curling Championships are taking place at Victoria Curling Club.

The top two junior men’s teams and the top junior women’s team will travel to the New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships which takes place from Jan. 18-26, 2020, at the George Preston Recreation Centre and Langley Curling Club.

All the Victoria championship results are available at http://playdowns.curlbc.ca/. The semi finals and finals will be streamed on Curl BC TV. The finals on Jan. 2 will also be streamed on cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.

Full team rosters of playoff teams:

Junior Men:

Team Sato, Royal City
Skip: Hayato Sato
Third: Matthew McCrady
Second: Joshua Miki
Lead: Jacob Umbach
Coaches: Bryan Miki/Brent Pierce

Team Tao, Richmond/Vancouver/Port Moody
Skip: Johnson Tao
Third: Toby Mills
Second: Connor Kent
Lead: Michael Nunn
Coach: Vic Shimizu

Junior Women:

Team Buchy, Kimberley/Kelowna/Vernon
Skip: Kaila Buchy
Third: Jaelyn Cotter
Second: Katelyn McGillivray
Lead: Cassidy Schwaerzle
Fifth: Samantha Mclaren
Coaches: Tom Buchy/Jim Cotter

Team Taylor, Tunnel Town/Royal City
Skip: Jensen Taylor
Third: Meredith Cole
Second: Keira McCoy
Lead: Chelsea Taylor
Coach: Chris Summers

Team Daniels, Delta Thistle
Skip: Sarah Daniels
Third: Sarah Loken
Second: Hannah Lindner
Lead: Jordan Henson
Coach: Katie Witt