An Elmira team has qualified for the U18 Mixed Provincial Curling Championships.
The mixed team – a combination of two local U18 teams made up of skip Hazen Enman, vice Veronica Bernard, second Charlie Randell and lead Claire Randell and coached by Marc Bernard – came away with a two wins in the qualifier to send them to the championship match.
The wins came at the Highland Curling Club in London, February 9-11, where Team Enman beat Team Chevarie 7-4 in their first showing, and a whopping 9-2 against Team Jones in their second game.
Despite only practicing together before the qualifier for a very short time, the team found great success. Their inception appears a little unorthodox compared to other sports, but is a rather common practice among the curling world.
“The mixed is typically the kind of event where teams will just sort of throw together a team. They will get friends who play on the junior curling tour and decide we should go into the mix – throwing two teams together to combine one, so it’s kind of what we did in this case,” explained the coach.
Veronica and Claire play on a U18 girls’ team, while Claire’s brother plays alongside Hazen on the U18 boys’ team.
“They decided they would throw a mixed team together this year and have some fun,” he said, noting that it is a little more relaxed than their respective U18 teams in the curling tour. “They put together the team to try to do well, because it does go to a provincial championship and there are some very good teams there. We had some success this year, which is really nice.”
For three-quarters of the team, this will be their first time heading to provincials and taking a shot at a title. However, they will be going up against some familiar faces: their U18 teammates, one of whom actually won the mixed tournament last year.
“It looks like a lot of fun. They have a great time together. There are a lot of good teams there, as well – for the guys, the other two guys on that team are going to the mixed provincials with a team from Ottawa, and for the girls, one of the other girls from the team … is back with the team that won it last year,” he said.
Overall, coach Bernard says he is excited to see the girls from Veronica’s U18 team heading to provincials and looks forward to their mixed shot at a provincial title.
The U18 Mixed Provincial Championship will be happening next weekend, March 8-11, at the Oshawa Curling Club.