Elmwood MJCT sets the stage for tour championship

By: Kyle Jahns

The Elmwood MJCT finalized the point standings for the 2012 MJCT Championship. One junior men’s team used it to climb even further up the ranks in the top 10 and a junior women’s team used it to shoot up nine spots and into the championship.

8-1 is a good score for the Jordan Smith team. They won three of their four Elmwood MJCT games by the seven-point deficit.

Smith qualified through the A event. He defeated Nathaniel Swanson by a score of 8-1 and Brandon Radford by a score of 6-4.

In the championship round Smith defeated JT Ryan in the semi-finals 8-1.

Jordan Smith and teammates, Declan Moulden, Brad Van Hulle, Jordan Knuston and fifth Martin Knuston, captured the Elmwood MJCT junior men’s championship with a convincing 8-1 win over Randy Greig.

Smith rose from fourth in the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour rankings to second with his victory. He has 31 points and is only behind Matt Dunstone with 44.

Smith knew the Elmwood MJCT would be a good opportunity to gain some points.

“We had the idea that there was some teams out in Brandon, so we figured this was our weekend to do something and I guess we did,” he said.

Smith opened up the game with a deuce and Greig scored a single in the second end.

“The first couple ends we were just trying to keep it close, but that third end really helped,” he said.

After Greig jammed a hit in the third end, Smith was left with an open draw for five points. They went on to steal an additional point in the fourth after Greig attempted a hit, but rolled away from the button for second shot.

“We felt pretty laid back and having good games,” Smith said. “We’re trying to peak for regionals which is two weekends from now, so I think we’re feeling pretty good about that.”

Abby Ackland and her junior women’s team raised up seven spots and have officially qualified for the MJCT Championships after picking up the Elmwood MJCT title.

The Ackland team went from eleventh place in the standings with six points to a tie for second. Ackland and Selena Kaatz both have 24 points. The Kristy Watling team leads the pack with 40 points after they made the semi-finals.

Ackland and her team of Meaghan Brezden, Lisa Reid, and Danielle LaFleur defeated Jessica Rutter in the final by a score of 4-2.

They played a clean game and forced Rutter to attempt freezes in the eighth end. Rutter attempted to draw behind a rock in the 12-foot with her last stone but she left it open. Ackland made the hit to run Rutter out of rocks and claim the championship.

“We just wanted to keep it open, kind of work on our weight and kind of work on different shots we’ve been playing. They’re a good team and they were tough to play,” Ackland said.

Ackland finished first in her pool with a 4-0 record. She defeated Jesse Iles by scores of 9-2 and 9-4, Rutter by a score of 6-4 and Allyson Spencer by a score of 6-5.

Ackland played Meagan Grenkow in the semi-final and won 9-3.

“It was good we came this far and it was good we played so well this weekend,” Ackland said.

The MJCT Championships will take place at the Wildewood Curling Club on Dec. 7-9. The top 10 teams in both the junior men and women’s divisions will be invited.

View the weekend’s results here: