Corryn Brown and her Kamloops Curling Club rink will compete for the first time at the Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship, which runs from Jan. 2 to Jan. 7 in Victoria.
Skip Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Dezaray Hawes and lead Samantha Fisher were one of two teams to qualify for the event based on Canadian Team Ranking System points gained between Nov. 30, 2016, and Dec. 1, 2017.
“I think it’s going to be a lot different than juniors,” said Brown, whose exploits in the junior ranks included three provincial titles and one national championship. “There might not be as big of a target on our back because we are kind of the underdog. In juniors, there was a lot of pressure on us because of what we had done in the past.”
Qualifying based on points allows Brown to skip playdowns in Hope and Kelowna in December. Three teams will qualify for provincials at each of those events.
Diane Gushulak and her New Westminster rink join Brown as the two teams that qualified based on points. Brown and Gushulak each competed at six CTRS events, with the Kamloops rink earning 57.1658 points and the New Westminster quartet earning 54.332 points.
Brown’s early qualification means the rink does not have a competitive event scheduled until the B.C. championship, giving it more than a month to prepare.
Fisher, Pincott and Brown are 22-year-old students at Thompson Rivers University and will be able to focus solely on exams, instead of having to worry about December playdowns.
There are also cons to missing playdowns and having a month off.
“We haven’t played in any 10-end games,” said Brown, who plays eight-end draws on tour. “We’ll try to pick up a game to get into the mindset. It’s a big break. Dez stills plays juniors and will be at provincials in December. The rest of us will be practising.”
Hawes, 20, lives on the Lower Mainland. It’s not always easy to arrange practice sessions for the entire squad.
Brown was ousted in the semifinal round last weekend at the Driving Force Abbotsford Cashspiel, what she called her best result of the season, good enough for a paycheque of $2,000.
The Russian rink skipped by Victoria Moiseeva knocked out Brown and went on to win gold.
Brown is 73rd on the women’s 2017-2018 World Curling Tour money list with $3,200. Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg is atop the list with $117,798.
“It would have been really nice to qualify in Red Deer [at the Red Deer Curling Classic, which wrapped up on Nov. 20],” Brown said. “That was our big expense trip. You have to fly and rent a car.”
The winner of the provincial championship will advance to the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the national women’s championship, which will be held from Jan. 27 to Feb. 4 in Penticton.
“Getting there would be the ideal situation,” Brown said. “It will just depend on who comes with a good week. We’re playing really well right now.”
Thompson yet to qualify
Karla Thompson and her KCC rink will have to qualify for the B.C. championship via playdowns.
Thompson competed at two CTRS points events this year and finished with 26.8995 points.