RDC Curling teams head to nationals

The RDC Curling teams will begin competition in the CCAA Curling National Championships on Wednesday.  Photo-Tony Hansen
The RDC Curling teams will begin competition in the CCAA Curling National Championships on Wednesday. Photo-Tony Hansen

The Red Deer College Men's and Women's Curling teams will be competing in the 2017 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Curling National Championships March 22-25 in Camrose. The RDC teams qualified for the national tournament after they captured medals at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Curling Championships in Vermilion.

At the ACAC Championships, the RDC women (Brett Day, Katie Primrose, Sara McMann, Marla Sherrer and Taylor Konschuh) earned silver. Jordan Smith, Austin Kelts-Larsen, Ty Parcels, Ryan Dahmer and David Austin comprise the men's team that picked up bronze. The Red Deer College Mixed Curling team (Shayne Copeland, Ashlyn Wozny, Andrew Jones and Chloe Logelin) added a silver medal, but the mixed teams don't compete at the national level.

Looking back at this ACAC season, the RDC Women's team had a strong Curling Championships. They built momentum and gained confidence, and Curling Head Coach Brad Hamilton liked the RDC Women's Curling team's concentration and effort. "The women's team was calm, focused and they performed well at provincials," said Hamilton.

At the upcoming CCAA Championships, returning Red Deer College student-athletes, Marla Sherrer and Sara McMann will look to earn their way into the medal rounds after narrowly missing out last year. The RDC women's team will have some familiar competition. The University of Alberta Augustana Vikings, Lakeland Rustlers, Concordia Thunder and NAIT Ooks will be playing from the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC). The Niagara Knights, Humber Hawks and Fanshawe Falcons will be competing from the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA).

While the RDC Men's Curling team earned an ACAC bronze medal, they feel that they can elevate their game in Camrose. Ryan Dahmer, Ty Parcels and Jordan Smith have played on the national stage before and will look for a steady and hard-working performance.

"They are working on bringing their A-game every time they step on the ice and trying to outwork the other team," said Hamilton.

On the men's side, the U of A Augustana Vikings, Lakeland Rustlers, NAIT Ooks and Olds Broncos will enter the Curling Championships as members from the ACAC. The Humber Hawks, Fanshawe Falcons and Mohawk Mountaineers will represent the OCAA.

In preparation for the national tournament, both teams have been practicing, playing in weekly leagues and are working on their communication on the ice. All teams will be very close in ability and the playoff teams will be ones that play consistently and deal with the pressure and fatigue the best.

The University of Alberta (Augustana) will host the event March 22 – 25 at the Rose City Curling Club in Camrose.