Sunday July 27, 2014






Brown wins provincial junior title


Corryn Brown

What do you do when you finally win a curling title that has twice eluded your grasp?

You celebrate with Big Macs, of course.

That's what Corryn Brown's Kamloops rink did Sunday after winning the Tim Hortons B.C. junior girls title in Coquitlam.

Yes, the girls - Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Samantha Fisher and lead Sydney Fraser - may be provincial champions, but they're still teenagers.

"We're at McDonald's, getting a victory meal," Brown admitted, with a laugh. "We thought it would be more classy this way."

Brown and Co. beat Nanaimo's Kalia Van Osch 7-4 in Sunday's final. It capped a 7-2 week for the Kamloops girls.

It is Brown's first provincial junior title, but the rink has won pretty much every other championship for which it has vied.

It has won three provincial juvenile titles (2010-12), gold at the Canada Winter Games (2011), and gold at the Optimist International under-18 bonspiel in Toronto in April. Brown herself also won bronze at the Youth Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, in February.

But the rink had yet to capture a junior title, not exactly a pressing matter considering the rink can still compete at this level for three more years. The Kamloops girls are 17, and can play junior until they are 20.

"This definitely means a lot to us," said Brown, whose father, Ken, coaches the rink with Brian Fisher, Samantha's father. "We've tried so hard to win this for the last three years, we've really wanted to do this."

Brown has competed at junior provincials the last three seasons, and had made the playoffs each year. Two years ago, the rink burst on the scene with a loss to Victoria's Dailene Sivertson in the championship final. Last year, it lost in a tiebreaker as Kesa Van Osch, Kalia's sister, took gold.

The Brown rink will represent B.C. at the M&M Meats Canadian junior championships in Fort McMurray from Feb. 2-10. It will be the rink's first truly national competition since the 2011 Canada Winter Games, which were held in Halifax.

"This is different from the Canada Winter Games," Brown said. "There's not all the other sporting events, it's just curling.

"But we said the Canada Winter Games was special because it's a one-time thing. (Junior nationals) could be too, because we're not guaranteed another chance."

Brown lost two of her first four games at junior provincials, but won five straight coming home. On Saturday, she beat Vernon's Amy Edwards 5-4 to make the semifinals, then beat Richmond's Shawna Jensen 8-3 to qualify for Sunday's final.

"After that (second) loss, we just bounced back," Brown said. "We got together and had a talk - we came together and became a really strong team."

Kalia Van Osch, who played on her sister's championship team a year ago, went 7-0 in the round-robin to earn a bye into the final.

After a slow start, Brown scored the first big knock, stealing two in the sixth end to lead 3-1. Van Osch struck back with two, then stole one for a 4-3 lead heading into the ninth.

Brown took two in the ninth and stole two more in the 10th.

"They needed one to tie, so I threw a guard to block the draw," Brown said of her final shot of the 10th end. "(Van Osch) went for a tap on her last shot . . . and it went wide."

And so the Kamloops girls got to celebrate.

"In curling, there's a lot of sportsmanship," Brown said. "We just shook their hands and it's our tradition to have a group hug.

"After that, Sam and I went and found our dads and gave them hugs."

The girls and their families spent the night on the Lower Mainland, and were planning to make it home just in time to miss the first day back at school after Christmas vacation.

The curlers certainly deserved another day off.

"We played nine games - the girls are definitely tired from sweeping," Brown said. "I'm mentally exhausted, and I'm sure the girls are, too.

"They gave it their all. They worked so hard."

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca


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