ALTONA - The favorites -- and the upstart -- continued to win here Thursday at the 2011 Manitoba women's curling championship.
Three-time defending Canadian champion Cathy Overton-Clapham improved to 3-0 this morning with a 10-5 win over Snow Lake’s Kelly Wiwcharuk, while Morden’s Chelsea Carey went to 3-0 with a 7-4 win over Springfield’s Karen Rosser.
And Michelle Montford, skipping a team of young women just two years removed from juniors, won her second in a row, dumping Brandon’s Lisa Blixhavn 10-4 to improve to 2-1.
In other games on the 12:15 p.m. draw, defending champion Jill Thurston improved to 2-1 with a 6-2 win over Swan River’s Bev Lumax and Winnipeg’s Kim Link improved to 2-1 with a 5-4 win over Deb McCreanor of La Salle.
With yet another lopsided win this morning, Overton-Clapham has now outscored her three opponents at this event 32-11. But she remains in a tie for first place in her eight-team pool with Fort Rouge’s Kerri Einarson and Assiniboine-Memorial’s Janet Harvey, who are also 3-0 heading into the 4 p.m. draw.
Carey, meanwhile, is alone in first as the last remaining undefeated team in her pool, trailed by four teams at 2-1 -- Link, Rosser, Thurston and Montford.
Carey has been severely tested in each of her three games so far, but found a way to win each time and her entire foursome appears to be gaining in confidence with each mounting win. "I’ve felt progessively better with each game so far," Carey said. "Making some big shots, some clutch shots for extra points is huge for your confidence."
Which is also what Montford is finding. After knocking off Thurston Wednesday evening, Montford made it two in a row here Thursday with a convincing victory over a skip in Blixhavn who has lots of provincial experience.
"We worked really hard this year but we weren’t sure how we’d do because we’ve never played in a tournament this size," said Montford, a 22-year-old University of Manitoba student. "We play against these teams all the time, so we know we can beat them. But this is a whole different situation."