Koltun wins bronze in first World Tour event

Team Koltun entered their first Women's World Curling Tour event for the experience. They ended up getting so much more.

Team Koltun entered their first Women’s World Curling Tour event for the experience. They ended up getting so much more.

The Whitehorse rink went 5-2 for third place and pocketed a cheque for $4,500 at the Valley First Crown of Curling in Kamloops, B.C., over the weekend.

“We went into the competition mostly wanting the experience of it and to get a chance to play women, rather than juniors,” said skip Sarah Koltun, 19. “I don’t want to say we had low expectations, we wanted to qualify (for the playoffs) – that was our primary goal.”

Team Koltun, which includes Chelsea Duncan, Patty Wallingham and Jenna Duncan, lost their opening match 7-2 to Russia’s Victorya Moiseeva. The Koltun team then found its groove with five straight wins. They went 6-4 over B.C.‘s Jen Rusnell, 8-1 over B.C.‘s Lori Olsen, 4-2 over Alberta’s Lisa Eyamie and 7-4 over B.C.‘s Marilou Richter to reach the quarterfinal.

Koltun then downed Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson 8-5 to access the semis.

“We lost our first one and then we got on a roll and started winning all the rest of our games,” said Koltun. “We were really excited to get into the quarterfinals and when we won that we were like, ‘Wow, we can actually compete with these people.’

“It was pretty exciting.”

Team Koltun’s opponent in the semifinal added to the excitement. In the semi, 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.

“We were all super excited to play the team from China because we knew what kind of team they were and their past successes,” said Koltun. “We knew it was going to be a tough game and we couldn’t pull it off.”

Team Koltun coach Lindsay Moldowan was unable to attend the bonspiel, but did her coaching “over the phone,” she said.

“They just played really well,” said Moldowan. “It was the first ladies World Curling Tour event they’ve ever done – they wanted to step it up this year and get the experience of curling at that level. The girls have a lot of experience, but it’s at the junior level.

“Being that it was their first Women’s World Curling Tour spiel, it was a pretty big accomplishment that they went there and played as well as they did and beat the teams that they did. I think that they showed people that, even though they are young, they can curl at that level.”

Making their success all the more special is that, unlike most of the rinks they went against, Team Koltun 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.

“It can be challenging at times,” said Koltun. “I got back from this spiel on Monday and I had two midterms yesterday (Tuesday) that I hadn’t studied for because I had no time – because we were curling the whole time. But I make it work and I know Chelsea does too.”

Team Koltun was one of three Yukon rinks competing down south over the weekend.

Whitehorse’s Team Young also won bronze and faced some big names while competing at the Men’s World Curling Tour Flatiron Challenge in Lacombe, Alberta.

“I think we performed fairly well as a Yukon team,” said lead Mitchell Young. “The manager of the club that put on the spiel, Colin Hodgson, did a great job. He said he was glad to have the token Yukon team down to play in his bonspiel and perform really well.

“It was nice to represent the Yukon and show them we can curl.”

The rink, which includes Will Mahoney, Joe Wallingham and Wade Scoffin, went 2-2 in their pool. To advance into the playoffs the Yukoners had to play a latenight tiebreaker against Edmonton’s Justin Sluchinski, winning 4-3.

In the quarterfinal Young went over former Brier champ Kevin Park 7-3.

“It was kind of an upset beating the top-seed team,” said Young.

Team Young then lost in the semifinal 6-2 to the current junior world champion, Parker Konschuh.

The other Yukon rink competing over the weekend was Team Horte at the Michael Izsak Memorial Junior Cash Spiel in Lethbridge, Alberta.

The junior rink of Bailey Horte, Kelly Mahoney, Sian Malloy, and Kelsey Meger went 1-4 at the bonspiel.

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.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read