Team Koltun demonstrated the power of positive thinking at the Optimist International Under 18 Curling Championships last weekend.
The rink won gold, beating last year’s rival Nova Scotia at the Regina, Saskatchewan, bonspiel.
At Sunday’s final, Team Koltun felt the win was in hand, having defeated the more difficult Team Ontario in the semifinal that morning.
“We were saying that our team and (Ontario) should have been the final,” said Team Koltun skip Sarah Koltun. “It was like we played the final in the morning because had we lost, we were pretty sure Ontario would have won it. But you never know what’s going to happen because anyone can beat anyone.”
Koltun, who lost to a different Nova Scotia team in the Optimist final last year for silver, breezed to an 8-1 win against Nova Scotia.
As lopsided as the final was, to get there Koltun, and teammates Chelsea Duncan, Linea Eby and Jenna Duncan, had two consecutive matches go into extra ends, beating Ontario in the semifinal and Team Alberta the previous match.
Unlike against Alberta, where Team Koltun came from behind, in the semi it was the Yukoners who let Ontario get back into the game and push it to an extra end.
“We were one up and had the hammer and I had to draw to the four-foot ring, but I came up short so they got one,” said Koltun. “In the extra end (Ontario’s skip) missed her last one so I didn’t have to throw.”
Team Koltun, who was named Sport Yukon’s Team of the Year in December, recently returned from the Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta, where they won gold.
Looking ahead to future Games, Team Koltun brought with them “fifth” Patty Wallingham to give her a feel for competitive curling.
“Patty didn’t end up playing but we took her there because it’s a camp and a tournament, so she got to take part in the camp,” said Koltun. “We want to take her to the Canada Winter Games because Chelsea is aging-out, so we wanted to get her in competition so she knows what it’s like.”
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