Wednesday April 23, 2014

Brown rink aims for junior repeat

After three months on the cashspiel circuit, Corryn Brown's Kamloops rink is ready to get serious.

Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Samantha Fisher and lead Sydney Fraser are set to defend their provincial junior title later this week in Chilliwack. The quartet will open the eight-team tournament on Thursday, with the competition to wrap up Dec. 31.

For the four curlers, all of them now 18, 2012-13 was an amazing season. The rink not only won the B.C. junior championship, it also captured the Canadian championship in Fort McMurray and got to represent Canada at the world junior championship in Sochi, Russia.

But that's nine months in the rearview mirror, and the team has one thing on its mind - winning provincials again. The players have been busy, playing cashspiels all over the province, but they are ready for something different.

"There's more on the line at provincials," Brown said Sunday. "There's a chance to get to nationals and it's a different feel there."

Brown will open against Vernon's Amy Edwards on Thursday.

Among the other rinks scheduled to compete in Chilliwack are three from Victoria - Mariah Coulombe, Shawna Jensen and Brandi Tinkler, whose rink includes Kamloops' Ashley Nordin - as well as three from the Lower Mainland - Dezaray Hawes of New Westminster, Kalia Van Osch of Delta/Nanaimo and Coquitlam's Briana Egan.

"It's a very well-rounded field," Brown said. "It's very tight - it'll be a toss-up to see who will come out on top."

Brown has had varying amounts of success this season, winning a junior cashspiel in Abbotsford and also making a semifinal in Maple Ridge. The rink also took part in the Kamloops Crown of Curling, another event in Cloverdale and in the Kami Business Girls event, where it finished second.

Brown has run into three of the rinks she'll face at provincials - she beat Hawes twice, has lost twice to Van Osch and also fell to Edwards in the Kami Business final.

"That's really not that good," Brown said, with a chuckle, before adding: "But we've made the most money (in a year) so far that we've ever made."

No doubt the highlight so far was the Abbotsford junior cashspiel. Brown knocked off Hawes in the championship final, and, due to the placing, got to play an exhibition against Hawes during the Grand Slam of Curling in Abbotsford in November.

Brown won the six-end exhibition, and got to play under the guidance of Jennifer Jones, last seen winning her entry into the Sochi Olympics earlier this month.

"That was crazy, just an incredible experience," Brown said. "I got to consult (Jones) after my shots. . . . Sometimes I would hear her saying 'Do that shot' under her breath when we were deciding."

The Brown rink is the same as it has been for seven years, with the same girls playing in the same positions.

But it's a little different this season. All four girls graduated from high school in June, and Brown, Pincott and Fisher are enrolled at TRU.

Fraser works at a local hotel, but the quartet has found plenty of time to practise.

"Our schedule is so much more flexible now," Brown said. "We can just go practise on a Monday morning if we have a break in our schedule - we could never do that in high school."

The winner of the provincial junior championship will get a trip to Liverpool, N.S., for the M&M Meat Shops Canadian junior championship from Jan. 18-28.

"We can't go (into provincials) and think it's going to be a cakewalk," Brown said. "All of the other teams there know who won last year - there's a target on us. It's not going to be easy."


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