If they could do it again, they would.
A group of junior Penticton curlers recently returned from the B.C. Winter Games and despite narrowly missing a medal, they were all smiles.
“Awesome, it was so fun,” said skip Jessica Trip.
The team, made up of Trip, Erin Manning as third, Rachel Lane as second, Audrey Gosse as lead and Miranda Allen as fifth, sat in the Penticton Curling Rink and reflected on their trip to Fort St. John.
For the past two years, they worked together to meet their goal—to represent the Thompson-Okanagan region at the B.C. Winter Games — and they achieved it.
Their final game against the 4KGirl$ (Maple Ridge) was exactly how you want a final to be—close and down to the last few stones.
“We played them in the round-robin and we had lost to them, so we really needed to be up for the game and leave it all out on the ice, and we did,” said coach Michelle Pratt.
The game started in favour of the Maple Ridge rink. After two ends, the Trip rink was down four points. However, in the next end, they scored one, stole another in the next and stole three in the end after that.
The comeback put them in the lead.
The sixth end was the turning point for the Penticton girls. The Maple Ridge rink took a big end and regained the lead.
“But we never gave up,” said Pratt. “Kept fighting, got another two, and in the final end we just ran out of rocks and we couldn’t win the game.”
“It was a very close game; we were very resilient.”
The final score was 10-9 for the team from the Lower Mainland.
Despite losing the game and placing fourth, the team looks back fondly on the game.
The last time the two teams played each other the result the Maple Ridge rink beat them by a large margin.
Pratt admitted it was nice to show them how well they could play.
“It’s better to have a close game,” said Trip, to which the other teammates agreed.
For all five team members, the B.C. Games served as their biggest competition to date.
Most agreed that the atmosphere was far more intense than they were used to, but that it was overall a good experience.
The team was very vocal at how supportive the other teams, and the people of Fort St. John, were.
“The nature of the B.C. Games is just so supportive of your peers and your other teams, and it really was very much that,” said Pratt.
“And the Fort St. John people were just spectacular. It was a really lovely place to go to.”
Not all team members will be able to return to the winter games, as they will have aged out.
However, the Penticton team has big plans for other competitions in the future.