After the RDC Queens won gold and Kings earned silver at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Curling Championships, both teams sealed spots in the 2018 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)/Curling Canada Championships in Leduc. The Queens are the defending CCAA Women's Curling National Champions, and their journey to repeat as gold medalists will begin March 24. Last season, the Kings also won a national medal and captured CCAA bronze.
The 2017-18 ACAC Female Curler of the Year, Sara McMann, will skip the Red Deer College Queens in Leduc. Joining McMann will be Katie Primrose (lead), Shelby Primrose (second), Brett Day (third) and Ashlyn Wozny (alternate).
Sara McMann will use her experience from last year to help guide the Queens at nationals
At the national championships, the Kings will be represented by Austin Kelts-Larsen (skip), Jordan Smith (shared lead), Shayne Copeland (shared lead), 2017-18 All-Conference team selection Andrew Jones (second) and Carter Snethun (third).
Austin Kelts-Larsen will play a key role strategizing for the Kings
The Queens will be up against the Camosun Chargers (Pacific Western Athletic Association), MacEwan University Griffins (ACAC), NAIT Ooks (ACAC), Fanshawe Falcons (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association), Fleming Knights (OCAA), Niagara Knights (OCAA) and Holland Hurricanes (Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association).
The Kings will compete against the Douglas Royals (PacWest), University of Alberta Augustana Vikings (ACAC), Concordia Thunder (ACAC), NAIT Ooks (ACAC), Fanshawe Falcons (OCAA), Niagara Knights (OCAA) and Sault Cougars (OCAA).
Next weekend, the Queens and Kings want to hit their peak when it matters most. "All of the teams at nationals will be good and we expect to be competitive if we curl the way that we can," says Brad Hamilton, Head Coach of RDC Curling. "Both the Queens and Kings want to finish in the top four in the round robin and then compete for a medal. Sara, Brett, Katie, Austin and Shayne have experience at nationals so they will know what to expect."
The RDC Queens and Kings have combined rest with practice and are eager to play at the national event. "After the ACAC Championships, we took a bit of a break but have really picked up the pace the last couple of weeks," says Hamilton, the 2017 CCAA Women's Curling Coach of the Year. "We will play on arena ice instead of curling club ice which is a new experience for us but it probably will be for most of the teams. We are excited and will be ready for competition."
The 2018 CCAA/Curling Canada Championships will take place, March 24 to 28, at the Ken's Furniture Arena and the Robinson Arena in Leduc.
The Queens will open the championships against the Niagara Knights, Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. at Ken's Furniture Arena. At Robinson Arena, the RDC Kings will face the Sault Cougars, Saturday at 1:00 p.m.