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Cathy O gets top seed in Scotties

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WINNIPEG - Cathy Overton-Clapham has been annointed by her fellow competitors as the top seed for next week’s Manitoba women’s curling championship.

Overton-Clapham is the three-time defending Canadian champion as the former third for Jennifer Jones, but she had to hastily put together a whole new team for this winter after she was fired by Jones last spring.

Jones already has her berth into next month’s Canadian women’s curling championship in Charlottetown as Team Canada, but Overton-Clapham will have to win the 16-team Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Altona beginning next Wednesday if she is also also going to compete in Prince Edward Island as Team Manitoba.

Overton-Clapham is followed in the seedings, which will be released later today, by defending Manitoba champion Jill Thurston as the second seed, third seed Chelsea Carey and fourth seed Janet Harvey.

The seeding of Carey in the third position could be interpreted as a bit of a snub. The Carey foursome has had a huge year on the bonspiel circuit this winter and is currently ranked third on the World Curling Tour money list with $30,000 in winnings, behind only Jones and Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott.

With Thurston having won only a small fraction of that this winter and returning to the provincials without the front end that she won the province with last year - Raunora Westcott and Leslie Wilson defected to play with Overton-Clapham this year - it would seem a stretch to rank the Thurston team higher than Carey’s.

But with no former provincial women’s champions on their roster - the Carey team is rounded out by third Kristy Jenion, second Kristen Foster and lead Lindsay Titheridge - Carey says she’s not surprised her team wasn’t shown more respect by their fellow competitors.

"You don’t just base seedings on one year," said Carey. "A lot of times it’s based somewhat on names and experience and all that stuff. And it should be that way because that stuff does factor in at the provincials.

"Cathy is the defending Canadian champion, so you have to take that into account. And Jill is the defending Manitoba champion, even if she doesn’t have the same front end. So I kind of thought we might be seeded third - just because it’s not based on this season.

"If you based it just on this season, that would change because we’ve had a great year. But it’s just not like that."

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