Koltun takes Yukon’s spot at Scotties qualifier
Tom Patrick/Yukon News
Team Koltun will make another run at the Scotties next month.
The Whitehorse rink was the only women’s team to register for the Yukon Women’s Curling Championships scheduled for this coming weekend. They therefore earned the territory’s spot in the qualifier for the 2015 Scotties
Tournament of Hearts, the women’s national curling championship, taking place Feb. 14-22 in Moose Jaw, Sask.
“We’re all really excited to get the chance to go back,” said skip Sarah Koltun. “Unfortunately this time we have to go through the pre-qualification round before we have a chance to go to the actual event. So there’s one more step before we’re back at the big show, but we’re excited to get to Moose Jaw and do the Yukon proud and do as well as can.”
Team Koltun, which includes third Chelsea Duncan, second Patty Wallingham, lead Jenna Duncan, fifth Lindsay Moldowan and coach Bill Tschirhart, will compete for a spot in the main draw against Northwest Territories and Northern Ontario in the new pre-qualifier event added to the championship this year. (Nunavut was also supposed to compete in the pre-qualifier but declined their spot.)
The three teams will play a single round robin followed by a do-or-die game between the top two in the first round of the Scotties on Feb. 14.
If successful, it will be Team Koltun’s second straight Scotties appearance. The team qualified for the Scotties by placing first in the final Yukon-N.W.T. playdown, becoming the first Yukon team to qualify for the championship in 13 years. Hindered by illness, they came away with two wins, beating Team P.E.I. and fourth-place finishing Team Saskatchewan to place 12th.
Last season Koltun also became the first skip in history to compete at the Scotties and Canadian Junior Curling Championships in the same season.
In their last year of eligibility, Team Koltun captured their eighth consecutive Yukon junior title and conversely competed their eighth junior nationals, which is a record for the national event. Koltun notched her 31st career win at the junior nationals to place 10th. The team placed fourth in 2013. (Last year Team Koltun included Ottawa’s Andrea Sinclair, who played instead of Chelsea at junior events and played instead of Jenna at senior events, including the Scotties.)
All four members of the team are attending post-secondary school in four separate locations. Koltun is at Trinity Western University in Langley, Jenna at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Wallingham at Douglas
College in New Westminster, and Chelsea is the farthest away, studying at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
“We’re just playing as much as we can,” said Koltun. “Hopefully we will meet up once before then to make sure everything is still going the way we want it. Aside from that, we’re just training as much as we can and making sure we’re ready to go.”
There are six teams registered for the Yukon Men’s Curling Championships taking place this weekend at the Whitehorse Curling Club.