The field is set for the 2019 BC Seniors Curling Championship.
The provincial event, hosted by the Trail Curling Club from Feb. 19-24, held its last weekend of qualification at the Peace Arch and Hope Curling Clubs with Men’s and Women’s teams competing for the final berths.
Penticton and Kelowna’s team of Marilou Richter, Dawn Everest, Cindy Curtain and Deirdre Riley claimed the final senior women’s berth at Peace Arch Curling Club. Curtain is the sole individual on the team who has won the BC Senior Curling Championships before, having won in 2016 with Team Foster.
There were two senior men’s berths up for grabs in Peace Arch, with Richmond’s team of Larry Macdonald, Richard Brower, Paul Dunkin and Deryk Brower winning the A event and Chilliwack’s team of Doug Marshall, Kevin Britz, Ken Britz and Darren Jarvis winning the B event.
Some of the biggest names in curling will compete in the BC Senior Championships. Topping the list is the Lower Mainland team led by Craig Lepine, who has won the event the past two years and has three championships under his belt. Both Craig and Karen Lepine won the Men’s and Women’s events, respectively, when they were last held in Trail in 2013.
Lepine beat the Kootenay team of Tom Shypitka, Fred Thomson, Trail’s Don Freschi and Fruitvale’s Bill King in the final to win gold.
Another team to watch is another three-time senior men’s champion, the Wes Craig team from Kerry Park, who also boasts a couple of mixed curling titles.
The Rob Koffski rink brings in a talented crew from Kelowna, with the prolific Koffski an integral part of previous Men’s, Sr. Men’s, Mixed, and Masters’ championship teams.
Last year’s bronze medalist, Team Steve Wright, also claimed a Lower Mainland berth, while the Kootenay representatives are the Bill van Yzerloo foursome from Castlegar and Trail with third Brian Lemoel, second Richard Faunt, and lead Alex Couts, and Team Tom Buchy out of Kimberley, with Trail’s Rob Ferguson playing third. Buchy also owns four mixed curling titles.
The women’s side is wide open, with the Heather Nichol rink from Castlegar and Team Joy Romeo of Cranbrook representing the Kootenays.
Richter defeated a team of past champions in Sandra Jenkins, Penny Shantz, Colleen Robson, and Kate Horne and will be one of the favourites at the BC senior women’s championship. However, they will have to get by teams skipped by Brenda Ernst of Quesnel, Leslie Shearer of Nanaimo, Sheila Cowan of Royal City, Lisa Deputan from Chilliwack, and Karen Anderson of Kelowna.
In the 2019 BC Mixed Doubles qualifier in Hope, Kootenay Savings Super League curler Nathan Small and Kristina Little of Nelson qualified for the BC Mixed Doubles Championship that goes at the Abbotsford Curling Club from Feb. 26 to Mar. 3.
The winners of the BC Senior Curling Championships will compete in the 2019 Everest Canadian Seniors Curling Championship in Chilliwack from Mar. 22-28.