A MANITOBA CURLING FIRST FOR TEAM ZACHARIAS

Fair to the other team members or not, the inevitable comparisons in curling always seem to be made between the skips – especially when it comes to historical records.

Not only did new Scotties champion skip Mackenzie Zacharias share the ice with Darcy Robertson, she shares a spot in Manitoba curling history as well

The reason is simple – it is easy! A little easier than comparing thirds – a lot easier than comparing thirds with leads.  Easy because the two names are attached to the team and that’s the identity that mostly shows up in articles like this. Also easy because their name always comes first on the historical record list.

The story idea started from the realization that just two curling seasons ago, Mackenzie Zacharias (and her entire team) had won the Manitoba, Canadian, and World Juniors.

Who was the last Manitoba World Junior champion to win the Manitoba women’s or men’s provincial title?

Answer? It has never happened? Kelly MacKenzie (Scott), of course, won a BC women’s and went on to win the world title – but not Manitoba. Bob Ursel, David Hamblin, Braden Calvert: none of them won the Manitoba men’s although it is fair to say that Calvert still could.

So what about Canadian Junior champions – and did anyone do it in the second season after winning the Canadian Junior?

Answer? Go back almost 40 years. Darcy Kirkness skipped the 1984 Manitoba and Canadian Junior champion team (before there was a world championship so they had no chance there!). Her team of Barb Kirkness, Janet Harvey and Barb Fetch won Manitoba and Canada.  In 1986, the Kirkness sisters and Barb Fetch (with Faye Irwin) won the Manitoba women’s title. That’s the same second season after the junior championship as with the Zacharias sisters – and it would be splitting hairs to suggest the December timing this year means the Altona team actually did it a little sooner.

For those who don’t recognize the name – that’s the same Darcy Robertson as was competing this year in Carberry.

So Team Zacharias of 2020 and 2022 shares the accomplishment of winning “soonest after Canadian Junior title” with Team Kirkness of 1984 & 1986 (in Manitoba curling!).

However, Team Zacharias stands alone in Manitoba curling history in one regard. Mackenzie & Emily Zacharias, Karlee Burgess, and Lauren Lenentine are the ONLY intact Manitoba Junior Champion team, ever, to go on and win a Manitoba Women’s or Men’s championship.

FOUR PROVINCIAL JUNIOR BERTHS AT HEATHER BONSPIEL

Four provincial Junior berths were awarded Sunday afternoon at Heather. Junior Men’s teams skipped by Jace Freeman and Cameron Olafson, and Junior Women’s teams skipped by Grace Beaudry and Morgan Maguet will be going to Brandon, February 22-27, for the CurlManitoba TELUS Juniors.

Cameron Olafson and his East St. Paul team (Riel Dufault, Jonathan Kostna, Seth Boschmann, Coach Richard Harding) defeated Thomas McGillvary and his Fort Garry team in a seven end secpond berth game. Earlier in the day Jace Freeman and his Virden team (Andrew McKay, Cyrus Brandt Randy Ostrowsky, Coach Graham Freeman) had also posted a win over team McGillvary.

On the Junior Women’s side, the afternoon game was won by Morgan Maguet’s East St. Paul team (Kyle Lippens, Lauren Evason, Danica Metcalfe, Coach Kevin Young). They had lost earlier in the day to Grace Beaudry-St. Vital (Chelsea Swaile, Jensen Letham, Arianne Courcelles, Coach Guy Beaudry).

Down two coming home to Tansy Tober – Fort Garry, Maguet faced a difficult light-weight hit past a centre guard, need to at least remove two rocks in the four foot. She had third and fourth shot stone in the 12 foot circle – needed to stick to win, a rollout meant an extra end. She removed one and the other rolled to the 12 foot, just far enough that no measure was required.

The four berth winners join the winners of two earlier MJCT bonspiels in the TELUS Juniors in Brandon.