Local curler Tom Shypitka and his team have won the right to represent the Kootenay region at the provincial senior tournament in Trail in February.
Shypitka, who calls Cranbrook home, skipped a team comprised of Fred Thomson, Don Freschi and Bill King, who curl in other communities across the East and West Kootenay.
Joining Shypitka in representing the Kootenays is another team skipped by Myron Nichol, who represents the Castlegar Curling Club, which captured the second available qualifier spot.
Along with the men, two women’s teams battled it out for a single spot to the women’s provincial event, with Teresa Hiram and her team winning two out of three draws to earn the qualifier.
Shypitka beat Nichol 11-2 in their first draw, and followed up with a 6-5 decision over a team skipped by Ken McHargue that included fellow Cranbrookian Gerry Kent.
That win put Shypitka in the draw where the winner took a qualifier and his team came out victorious at the end in a tense 10-8 win over a team skipped by Ralph Will out of Creston.
“Experience, I think that’s our biggest card,” said Shypitka, on what gave his team the edge over the three day qualifying event. “Me and Fred and Don have all played at a high level and Bill is an excellent curler as well.”
Nichol had a longer road to the qualifier, after losing the initial meeting with Shyptika at 11-2.
His team followed up with three consecutive wins that put him in the second qualifier draw against Ralph Will, and his team came out with their fourth win to clinch the spot.
On the women’s side, Harim and her team earned back to back wins over a team skipped by Deb de Tremaudan to earn the right to represent the Kootenays at the senior women’s provincial tournament.
“The girls just shot great,” said Harim. “Couldn’t have been happier with them. The ice was amazing. The whole event was really well done.
“…As long as everyone is shooting, you do well.”