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Elmira curler heading to nationals as part of Team Ontario

After losing by a hair in provincial competition two years running, Sue Martin from the Elmira Curling Club will be joining her team at the 2017 HY-GRADE Steel Roofing System Masters Canadian Curling Championships in Guelph.

The team now feels official with their team jackets arriving last week. Seeing the Ontario crest made it real for Martin.

“We look just like the big guys, you know, to have a jacket with your name on it and the Ontario crest. You know that you are representing Ontario, it is pretty neat,” she said.

In 2015 and 2016, Martin and her team, skip Dale Curtis from St. Thomas, third Rosemary Gowman and second Brenda Clark from Galt Curling Club, made it to the final round at provincials, and came up just short. The team tied for first at both competitions and lost in the final. This year, things were a bit different.

“Normally it is just whoever wins the round robin, but this year, there were three teams that tied for first – again. We didn’t have the bye for the final game, so we had to play that extra game to get to the final and it was against a team that we had lost against in the round robin. We knew we could beat them, and while we hadn’t played that well in the round robin, they weren’t even in the game in the finals. I don’t think we even played all eight ends.”

After the final end of the final game, Martin says that is when the excitement came.

“That is when it sort of hits you – you won provincials and you are going to nationals,” she said.

The tournament starts up on Apr. 4 and runs for a full week. The team has already got a bit of practice in on the unfamiliar ice. With some of the team members out of town, Martin says they try to get all the practice in that they can.

“We were actually in Guelph on Tuesday morning practicing on their ice, trying to figure out what we will be needing to do next week. They just flooded their ice so it is new. We have actually had a couple of practices there. We have also gone into a couple of ladies bonspiels to give us a chance to play together before competition,” she said. “It can be difficult to schedule things, though. The skip actually lives in St. Thomas, so for the four of us to get together can be pretty difficult.”

Martin says they can’t wait to hit the ice sheet on Monday morning, going up against the Yukon team. Martin also has no idea what to expect, but she is pretty confident her team can come out on top.

“We are going in expecting to win. Right now, I would say that we are playing really well,” she said. “The funny thing is, when you go to provincials, you meet teams that you have seen over the years and you know who you are meeting, but with nationals, we have no idea. We have never seen teams from other provinces, so we have no idea what the caliber will be, or how our games will go. It is a whole new experience.”

The tournament starts on Apr. 4. To follow Martin and team Ontario, visit www.ontcurl.com.

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