Graham rink repeats win as provincial curling champions

BARRIE—For the second consecutive year, Heather Graham, originally from Gore Bay, is a member of the team that has won the Ontario Mixed Curling Championships.

With their second consecutive provincial championship under their belts, the rink will now, “be able to go back to defend our title at the national championships,” stated Ms. Graham in an interview with the Recorder last week.

Last November, Ms. Graham, who is vice on the team that is skipped by Cory Heggestad and also includes Greg Balsdon (second) and Amy McKay (lead), won the National Championships, defeating Nova Scotia’s Brent MacDougall rink 10-3 in the championship game.

The Ontario Curling Association John Shea Insurance Mixed Provincials were held two weeks ago. Ms. Graham explained, “For us it was almost a repeat of last year’s provincials as we posted a five win three loss record in the round-robin part of the competition.”

After winning a quarter-final match, the Heggestad rink defeated the Wayne Tuck rink in the semi-finals. “We had played them in the round-robin and lost,” said Ms. Graham who pointed out, “this was also the team we beat in the (provincial) finals last year.”

The Heggestad rink had to square off in the finals against the Mike Anderson rink, a team that had posted an eight win, no loss record in the round-robins. “They are a great young team,” said Ms. Graham, who added, “we were fortunate to control the final game, it was 7-3 after nine ends.”

This is only the second year the Heggestad rink has been together.

“Now we will be able to go back to defend our national title,” said Ms. Graham, whose rink represented the Orillia Curling Club. The Nationals will take place November 15-24 in Ottawa. “Our goal will be the same as last year, we hope to make the playoffs and from there anything can happen,” she added.

Tom Sasvari