The junior Ontario curling championship finals Sunday (Jan. 6) at the Highland Country Club happened to be one of redemption for the men and one of continuous glory for the women, but each group reaching new heights in the sport.
Skip Aaron Squires and his team of Jason Camm, David Easter and Curtis Easter took home the men’s provincial title back to their St. Thomas Curling Club winning 9-5 against Team (Chris) Lewis from the Huntley Curling Club, from Ottawa.
The win for Squires helped rid the bad taste of past defeats and puts him in unchartered territory after last year getting beat in the Ontario final and two years prior losing in the semifinal of the event.
“It was a little nerve racking because you don’t want that to happen again, but it’s great to win one and it feels amazing especially compared to the last couple of years,” Squires said. “You try to forget it (the past failures), you move on and come into today like it’s a new day.”
The win might have been something new to Squires, but maybe expected from fans as he put a cherry on top of the Junior Ontario Curling season where his team finished No. 1 in the Ontario tour standings and went through the round robin of the five-day provincial tournament with a 6-1 record.
“To be honest we just make a lot of shots, we get along really well and we’re just confident and that’s what it takes to win the games,” Squires said.
On the women’s side, Jamie Sinclair led her team, from the Manotick Curling Club, to a repeat provincial championship beating the (Caitlin) Romain Team, from the Kitchener-Waterloo Granite Club, 6-3 after 10 ends.
This year, the Sinclair squad had some new parts bringing in Katelyn Wasylkiw and Erin Jenkins, but keeping Holly Donaldson as the team’s vice.
“We took everything that was working well from my team last year and our front end’s team from last year to create a super team,” Donaldson said, of her rink that lost their first game in the tourney, but won seven straight after.
The win puts Sinclair in prestigious province, as she’s only one-of-four skips to win the Ontario-best event more than once.
The last skip to win the championship twice was Rachel Homan in 2009 and 2010.
In the former junior titleholder’s latter winning year, she moved on to earn silver in the World Junior Championships and nowadays Homan is preparing for the Olympic trials — nice company to be in for the latest champ.
“It’s pretty freaking cool,” Sinclair, 20, said of her elite status. “I’m hoping that things just keep going great for us and we make it to the women’s circuit after this because this is all of our last year in juniors.”
Both winning squads will be heading to Fort McMurray, Alta. To compete in nationals Feb. 2-10.