The last time Whitehorse’s Kerry Campbell, Lindsay Moldowan, Tracy Oles and Kara Kowalyshen curled together was representing Yukon 20 years ago at the 1996 Canadian Junior Curling Championship.
It appears, after all those years, the magic is still there.
The rink went 4-1 to win the women’s A division at the 64th annual Whitehorse International Bonspiel at the Whitehorse Curling Club on Sunday.
“The curling was a little off, but the sportsmanship and the way we all got along was like we never really left,” said Campbell, the team’s skip.
“It was good to have everyone back and it was very enjoyable. It was a good time.”
With Moldowan playing third, Oles second and Kowalyshen lead, the reunited rink clinched the title with a 9-2 win over Charmaine Thom’s rink in the final.
Team Campbell took control early, stealing four in the first end.
“Everyone was just making their shots and the other team wasn’t right up on theirs, and it just worked out for us there,” said Campbell.
The Campbell crew’s only loss of the bonspiel came to Team Thom, which includes Patsy Cashin, Candice Braga and Bev Murphy. Thom defeated Campbell 8-7 in the spiel’s third draw.
“Their draw weight the first game was unbelievable,” said Campbell. “Every draw they could make. We were struggling a little bit but found ourselves in the next game.”
Campbell has played on a champion rink at the Whitehorse bonspiel before, but this was her first as a skip.
It was the same story for men’s champion skip. Whitehorse’s Darol Stuart, who has played on a winning team in the past, won the men’s A division for his first time as skip.
“It’s a great way to end the season. We had a pretty rough season – it’s nice to finally win something,” said Stuart.
“This is probably the first year we’ve all curled together.”
The Stuart rink, which includes third Herb Balsam, second Lorenzo Roberti and lead Clarence Jack, went undefeated with four straight wins over the weekend.
They capped their run with an 8-6 win over Team Paslawski – Pat Paslawski, Craig Lepine, Don McPhee and Mike Nugent.
Stuart clinched it by squeezing a shot through a port for a take-out in the eighth end, in what was the last shot the ice will see as the end-of-season melting process begins.
Tyler Williams’ rink placed first in the men’s B division, Rhonda Horte’s first in the women’s B division. Leland Rich’s Fairbanks rink claimed first in the men’s C division, Ev Pasichnyk’s rink first in the women’s C division.
Whitehorse’s George Hilderman curled to first in the men’s D division.
In addition to Whitehorse rinks, this year’s bonspiel included teams from Carmacks, Carcross, Atlin, Fairbanks and Kitwanga, B.C.
“The bonspiel was great, lovely volunteers, Sandy (Miller, the club manager) put on a bang-up show,” said Stuart.
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