Refining their game for another run at nationals and racking up some valuable ranking points are the priorities for Kelly Scott and her Kelowna rink as they hit the ice for two major events in the next two weeks.
The five-time B.C. women’s curling champs will be in Saskatoon this weekend for the Colonial Square Ladies Classic. Forty-eight teams, featuring most of the world’s top rinks, will vie for 13 qualifying spots and $54,000 in prize money.
A week later, Scott and Co. will head to Brantford, Ont., for the $50,000 Masters of Curling Sun Life Classic.
Currently in 14th place in the Canadian Tour Ranking System, Scott would like to get back into the top 10 to enhance her team’s chances of qualifying for the Olympic pre-trials in Kingston, Ont., in November 2013.
The Kelowna curlers also have designs on making it to Kingston this coming February for the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
“Our main goal right now is to get back to the Scotties,” said Scott, who reached last year’s national Scotties final in Red Deer before losing to Heather Nedohin. “Beyond that, we want to shoot for a berth in the trials for the (2014) Olympics. Points are hard to come by, so you need to try and play in these bigger events.”
Because Scott, third Schraeder, and second Sasha Carter all have young families, the team has to be somewhat more selective in the number and timing of events the team plays in.
The Kelowna women have set two events per month as the maximum workload.
“Being moms, we can’t be on the road all the time, so we have to balance things the best we can and keep it in perspective,” she said. “Even playing a little less than we used to, we still feel can be competitive.”
The Scott rink has a new lead this season in Sarah Wazney, who relocated to Kelowna from Winnipeg.
Because there wasn’t ice in Kelowna during the first three cash events of the season, quality practise time with their new teammate has been limited.
“Sarah really just stepped in cold and now she’s just getting settled in,” Scott said. “We’re really happy with the way things have been going, given the short time we’ve had together. Every tournament we play we’re going to get to know each other and work together better.”
Due to work commitments, third Jeanna Schraeder won’t make the trip to Saskatoon this week, but will be available for Brantford.
Ex-Olympian Carolyn Darbyshire—a former member of the Cheryl Bernard rink—will fill in for Schraeder at the Saskatchewan spiel.
As the defending provincial champ, Scott will have an automatic into the 2013 B.C. Scotties in January in Cloverdale.