A foursome that calls the Airdrie Curling Club home will be out to score some national gold next week in Sherwood Park.
Skip Jessica Wytrychowski, third Olivia Jones, second Micayla Kooistra and lead Emily Kiist won the U18 Provincial Curling title in Medicine Hat recently. Next week they, along with 13 other ladies rinks, will vie for the Canadian Championship in the northern Alberta community. 14 men's rinks will go after the men's championship.
Joe Brown is the coach for the Wytrychowski rink. He says the team has only been together for about a year but have gelled quickly.
"I've been coaching Jessica for two seasons but the team that we're with now has three new members on it and we just joined forces about this time last year. They started to play some spring league games, then we went to some summer camps and were able to compete often and at high levels. It isn't often that it happens that way, sometimes teams benefit by sticking together for a time but these girls seemed to click right off the bat, they all had their goals set and with a little bit of guidance they've performed very, very well. Once they get out on the ice and put their minds to it, they can put together a pretty good game and a weekend of games if everything works out right."
Brown says Wytrychowski has gained a level of experience by just showing passion for the game.
"She works very, very hard at her game. She plays a lot, she plays a ton. Not only practices but she plays mixed doubles, which is a different discipline in the curling game, she plays in a ladies league, the Airdrie Super League we participated in. Between all of I think we're in a curling club somewhere six nights out of the week if not seven."
The competition at the national level in Sherwood Park should be intense, according to Brown. Alberta has a second rink in the competition which Brown expects to be very competitive.
"The runner up at the Alberta championship is the same team, minus one player, that represented Alberta at the Canada Winter Games so we know instantly that is a team that we're going to have to beat. Ontario is always perennially tough, Nova Scotia also competed at the Canada Games just over a month ago."
The teams will arrive in Sherwood Park on Monday. Competition gets underway on Tuesday with the finals going Sunday, April 7th.
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