Whitehorse’s Bob Smallwood has run out of Yukon curling titles to win.
The skip led his team to a fourth straight Yukon Mixed Curling Championship title over the weekend in Atlin, B.C.
His latest title comes just weeks after winning at the Yukon Men’s Curling Championships and a couple months after winning the Yukon Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in December.
Smallwood and his wife Jody, who plays third, captured their fourth consecutive mixed title with new teammates, second Scott Odian and lead Shannon Hall.
“It feels pretty good to retain the title,” said Bob. “We have two new players on the team. Nicole Baldwin is not playing with us and neither is Wade Scoffin.
“Shannon Hall is Scott’s partner. Jody and I just wanted to curl with another couple, I guess you could say.”
The Smallwood team claimed the title with a 5-1 record. Dustin Mikkelsen’s rink placed second at 4-2, Ray Mikkelsen’s third at 2-4 and Herb Balsam’s fourth at 1-5.
Team Smallwood’s one loss came in the final draw on Sunday, losing 5-1 to Dustin’s rink. The Smallwood team had clinched the title by that point and decided to mix things up a bit.
“We mixed it up in the last game,” said Bob. “I ended up playing lead and my wife was the skip – just for the last game. The last game didn’t make much difference for us. We had already won.”
Bob won his second Yukon men’s title in a row with Odian and teammates Clint Abel, Jon Solberg and David Rach last month. With the title the team will compete at the Tim Hortons Brier – the national men’s curling championship – at the start of next month in Ottawa.
“Hopefully we can get everybody in shape for it,” said Bob. “I think Jon is still nursing a sore back. He hasn’t had time to come out and throw rocks. He’s trying to take it easy and get his back in shape.”
Bob and Jody, who split their time between Whitehorse and Atlin, captured their fourth Yukon mixed doubles title in a row in December. They will compete at those nationals early April in Saskatoon.
The Smallwoods, and former teammates Baldwin and Scoffin, placed eighth out of 14 rinks at the 2016 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships this past November in Toronto. It’s the best finish on record for a team solely representing Yukon. (A team representing both N.W.T. and Yukon placed fifth in 2006.)
The 2017 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships will take place next November in Yarmouth, N.S.
“When we go to Nova Scotia in the fall we’ll be looking at trying to finish in the top half and make it into the playoff round,” said Bob. “It’s a new team, so we can’t say we’ll finish in the top four. We just want to finish in the top half.”
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