They came from all across the country with one thing in mind - winning a national championship.
Today, 16 rinks will be at the Kamloops Curling Club for the opening two draws of the CIS/CCA university championships. The bonspiel - which features eight women's and eight men's teams - will feature seven round-robin draws, Saturday semifinals and Sunday finals.
Today's draws will run at 10 a.m., and 3 p.m., and all 16 teams will be in action in both.
It is a university championship, but it is a combined effort by Canada's top university league (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) and Canada's national curling body (the Canadian Curling Association).
Brendan Bottcher of the U of Alberta Golden Bears is the defending men's champion - the rink will represent Canada at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Italy in December. They will be joined by Laura Crocker of the Wilfrid Laurier Hawks, who won the 2012 women's championship in St. Catharines, Ont., but isn't at this year's CIS/CCA event.
TRU will be represented by two WolfPack club teams. Tiffany Krausher is skipping the women's side, with Alyssa Kyllo at third, Ashley Nordin at second, Kym Edgeworth at lead and alternate Katie Hill and coach Brendan Nordin. They will open against the U of P.E.I. Panthers this morning and will meet the McMaster Marauders later on.
Darren Nelson will skip the WolfPack men, who are coached by Ray Olsen and also feature lead Michael Hiram, second Jared Jenkins, third Russ Koffski and alternate David Gore. TRU's men have the Acadia Axemen this morning and the Trent Excalibur in the afternoon draw
Each of the draws features three Ontario teams, three Canada West rinks (including the WolfPack) and two from the Atlantic provinces.
Alberta and Manitoba Bisons are Canada West's other representatives. Alberta's skips are Kelsey Rocque and Bottcher, while Manitoba is led by Breanna Meakin and Steen Sigurdson. Bottcher was the 2012 Canadian and world junior champion, while Meakin played lead on Kaitlyn Lawes's Canadian junior champion rink in 2009.
Thursday's draws are scheduled for 2 and 7 p.m., with Friday's to run at 9 a.m., and 2 p.m.
The semifinals will run Saturday at 7 p.m., with the finals on Sunday at 2 p.m.