Curling Rustles up a BronzeA rookie rink found that two out of three is bronze at the ACAC Curling Conference Championships in Camrose.
The first year team of skip Ocean Smart, third Whitney Dagg, second Shelby Nichol, lead Rheane Barker and alternate Casey Chalut beat the Red Deer Queens 8-6 for a bronze medal. It was the third time the two rinks meet during the championships.
The weekend started with a 3-game round robin where the ladies lost to Red Deer and NAIT, but beat the eventual champions Grande Prairie 8-0. Their 1-2 record put the ladies in the 3 vs 4 game where they beat Red Deer, sending them to the semi-final. The girls lost 6-2 to NAIT in the semi, setting up a third battle of the weekend against Red Deer in the bronze medal game.
In addition to the bronze medal, the Rustlers also brought home some individual awards. Ocean Smart was named skip of the ACAC All-Conference team for her great play throughout the year, as voted by her fellow players.
Colby Oracheski, who plays second on the Rustlers mixed team and is in his final year of curling for Lakeland College, took home the Chuck Morter award. This award goes to a curler who excels in athletics and academics, who works to promote their sport, who does work in their community, and who goes above and beyond to help their team both on and off the ice.
The final award went to Rustlers Curling head coach Chris McQuid, who was named the ACAC Curling Coach of the Year.
While the Rustlers ladies would have loved to have had a chance to play for the gold medal, this year is still considered a great success. All 4 players were competing in their first year together and first year of curling at this level. As well, all the women are expected to be back next year and are looking forward to taking on the ACAC again with a year of experience under their belts.