Whitehorse’s Team Koltun is starting to find traction on the World Curling Tour.
After coming away with just one win at their first two World Tour events of the season, the Yukon rink won three straight to reach the quarterfinal of the Spruce Grove Cashspiel over the weekend in Spruce Grove, Alta.
“It was definitely a good feeling to come out with three wins,” said skip Sarah Koltun. “We felt like we were coming out stronger and playing like a team and rebounding from misses better and just playing better collectively.”
The Koltun rink’s three wins came against Albertan teams. They downed Team Brown 8-6, Team Scheidegger 7-6 and Team Jensen 7-3 to make the playoffs.
In the quarters they had a rematch with the Scheidegger rink, currently ranked 24th in Canada, but the Albertans flipped the score to win 7-6.
The Koltun team, which includes third Chelsea Duncan, second Patty Wallingham and lead Andrea Sinclair, stole two in the last end, but needed three to force an extra.
“It was kind of unfortunate that they got the win then instead of in the round-robin,” said Koltun. “It was bad timing. But we played a really strong game. We just had one bad end that lost the game for us. But overall it was one of the best games we’ve played this season.”
The Whitehorse team’s first two tour events of the season were the Kamloops Crown of Curling last month and the Shoot-Out at the Saville Centre in Edmonton in September. They won their season opener 6-3 over Saskatchewan’s Team Lawton, which is currently the fourth ranked women’s team in the country.
There are big plans in store for the Koltun rink – or should we say rinks?
Koltun hopes to win the N.W.T./Yukon spot at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in January and attend her first Canadian women’s championship with her team.
She also wants to win Yukon’s spot at the Junior Canadian Curling Championship with her junior team, which includes Sinclair as third, Wallingham remaining as second, and Jenna Duncan – Chelsea’s little sister – as lead.
Last season Koltun and Chelsea made their seventh trip to the Canadian Junior Curling Championships, taking fourth.
Koltun’s women’s team is currently in Lloydminster, Alberta, for the Boundary Ford Curling Classic, the team’s fourth World Curling Tour event of the season.
“We scheduled a pretty intensive season,” said Koltun. “We’re travelling a lot and training a lot. This is basically our lives right now. That’s why I decided not to go back to school this fall … I’m taking a couple distance courses, but I couldn’t keep up with playing and everything.”
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