BC playdowns: Smiley curls her way back to Trail

Former Trail resident Kathy Smiley is on her way back to the Silver City for the B.C. Senior Curling championships

Former Trail resident Kathy Smiley is on her way back to the Silver City for the B.C. Senior Curling championships after taking the long road at the qualifier in Squamish last weekend.

Four teams qualified in the 11-team Coastal playdown with Smiley, who now curls with the Royal City Curling Club out of New Westminister, winning her sixth game 12-2 over the Joanne Mick rink to take the final spot in the C2 qualifier.

Nanaimo’s Debbie Jones-Walker won the A Event with three straight wins, while Brenda Ridgway’s Nanaimo rink won the B Event and Karen Lepine’s foursome from Langley was the other C qualifier.

Smiley won three and lost one in the round robin, before losing a heart-breaking B-Event final to Ridgway who stole two in the 10th and final end to come away with a 9-8 victory.

Smiley has won four senior women’s provincial titles, most recently in 2009, and appeared in the Canadian senior women’s championship final all four times without a victory.

The rinks join the Kootenay Zone 1 and 2 qualifier Grand Forks’ Teresa Hiram rink with Trail’s Rose Beauchamp as third,  Rhonda Lee-Bedard second, and Cindy Pettapiece of Christina Lake as lead.

Eight women’s and eight men’s teams will play in the B.C. Seniors Curling Championship which hits the ice in Trail Feb. 11.

Two Kootenay area rinks represent the men’s side with Tom Shypitka’s rink with Nelsonite Fred Thomson as third, Trail curler Don Freschi as second and Fruitvale’s Bill King in the lead position.  Super League curlers Myron Nichol rink, with Trail’s Rick Brown curling third and Terry Kryzcka, and Rob Babiarz second and lead respectively, also qualified.

The final playdown spots are yet to be decided with the Island playdowns starting Friday.