Team Koltun makes quarterfinal at World Curling Tour event
Whitehorse curling skip Sarah Koltun has the band back together.
Koltun was back on the ice with third Chelsea Duncan, second Patty Wallingham and lead Jenna Duncan for the first time in over a year and a half at the Cloverdale Cash Spiel in Surrey, B.C., over the weekend.
It was the first time the four competed together since their remarkable run at the 2013 junior nationals in which they placed fourth.
“I think overall it went fairly well,” said Koltun. “We were really happy to get back on the ice and start playing together again because it had been a while since the four of us had played together.
“We were really just feeling things out, seeing what we could do, so it was nice to start out with those three wins. We did start to struggle a bit, but I think we learned a lot that we can use moving forward.”
The Koltun rink - the only Yukon team at Cloverdale - notched three wins and two losses to reach the quarterfinal of the Women’s World Curling Tour event.
They won their first three games, opening with a 6-2 win over New Westminster’s Team Gushulak, who went on to reach the semifinal.
The Koltun crew lost 9-6 in the quarterfinal to Chilliwack’s Team Prinse, who went on to lose in the semi to the eventual spiel winners, Sijia Liu’s team of China.
Unlike last season, 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.
“Jenna, Patty and I are all really close and are able to curl in two leagues together, so that’s nice,” said Koltun. “We all curl in New Westminster. I live the farthest away and it’s like a 20-minute drive.”
The Koltun team has four more World Curling Tour events planned for this season, but their main goal is a second straight appearance at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Canadian women’s championship.
The rink made their first appearance at the Scotties last year as the first Yukon team to qualify for the championship in 13 years. They came away with two wins.
Koltun was also the first skip in history to lead a team at the Scotties and the Junior Canadian Curling Championship in the same season.
Last year’s Koltun team (or teams, as the case may be) included Ottawa’s Andrea Sinclair who played instead of Chelsea at junior events and played instead of Jenna at senior events.
Koltun made a record eighth and final appearance at last year’s junior nationals, posting her 31st career win at the championship, placing 10th.
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