Koltun held to one win at Island Shootout

Whitehorse's Team Koltun is trying to recreate the magic the team had at the start of the season. Team Koltun went 1-3 and didn't make the playoffs at the Vancouver Island Shootout.

Whitehorse’s Team Koltun is trying to recreate the magic the team had at the start of the season.

Team Koltun went 1-3 and didn’t make the playoffs at the Vancouver Island Shootout, a Women’s World Curling Tour event in Victoria, B.C. over the weekend.

In the team’s first-ever Women’s World Curling Tour event last month, Koltun won bronze.

“It wasn’t anything that was super obvious that was going wrong,” said skip Sarah Koltun of the weekend. “Nothing was going our way this weekend. We were trying to fight it and we never gave up, but it was a little more than we could handle, apparently.”

Team Koltun, which includes third Chelsea Duncan, second Patty Wallingham and lead Jenna Duncan, took a 5-4 win over New Westminster’s Team Hawes. Koltun stole two in the final end to come from behind.

“We fell behind a little bit and showed our resilience really well,” said Koltun. “We fought hard for this win.”

The Whitehorse rink’s losses were 6-4 to Victoria’s Team Tinkler, 9-2 to Victoria’s Team Noble and 11-3 to Vernon’s Team Kuhn, who went on to win the bonspiel.

The Island Shootout was Team Koltun’s third bonspiel of the season. The team went 2-3 and missed the playoffs at the Whitney Field Junior Curling Classic in Lloydminster, Alta., two weeks ago.

Their first World Tour event, in which they won bronze, was the Valley First Crown of Curling in Kamloops, B.C., three weeks ago. In the semifinal, Koltun lost 8-2 to China’s Wang Bingyu, who went on the win the bonspiel. Bingyu won gold, silver and bronze at the world championships between 2008 and 2011, and captured bronze at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Bingyu is also a four-time gold medal winner at the Pacific Championships.

Team Koltun went 5-2 for third and pocketed a cheque for $4,500.

“It’s a lot to live up to now,” laughs Koltun. “We’re trying to sort that out too. Obviously we can play a lot better than what we showed in our last two competitions, because we saw how well we can do in our first one.

“It’ll take some time, but we know we’ll get back there.”

Sarah Koltun has competed as a skip a record six times at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships and has represented the Yukon at two Canada Winter Games. She has also curled at three Arctic Winter Games, accumulating two silver and a gold.

The team is rather spread out geographically. While Wallingham and Jenna are in Whitehorse, Koltun is studying at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. and Chelsea is at University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Team Koltun will be in town for the Whitehorse Curling Club’s Cash Spiel at the end of the month.

Contact Tom Patrick at