Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Lawton displays Classic form

Saskatoon skip guides team to WCT event title at Fort Rouge club

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Emerging from a 32-team field on Monday night, the Stefanie Lawton team from Saskatoon won the 2012 Manitoba Lotteries Women's Curling Classic at the Fort Rouge Curling Club and the $15,000 first-place prize.

Lawton and her team of Sherry Anderson, Sherry Singler and Marliese Kasner defeated the Rachel Homan team from Ottawa 6-4 in the final on Monday night.

"It feels great, we've been coming here for years and made quarter-finals, semifinals before but our team together has never won it. Sherry Anderson, our third, has won it (2006)," said Lawton. "We played hard and had great competition. We're working hard to get some points and this win definitely helps for that."

It is a Grand Slam event on the women's World Curling Tour and carries valuable points teams are trying to accumulate in the hope of earning a berth in next year's Olympic qualifier.

"We're playing against the best teams in the world here and to play strong against these teams and to come out with a win on top of it, it's huge confidence for us," Lawton said. "We're going to keep working at it, we've got lots of events left and the Canada Cup here in the end of November, the provincials and hopefully further on this season."

Lawton made it to the final by defeating Laura Crocker in the quarter-finals on Monday morning and Shannon Kleibrink in the afternoon semifinals.

Homan beat Barb Spencer in the quarter-final and Cheryl Bernard in the semifinal. Homan and her team of Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk and Lisa Weagle claimed the $10,000 second-place prize.

"For us, it's more about the CTRS (Canadian Tour ranking system) points so to make the final, it's really good for our team to get as many points as we can," Homan said. "It's nice to make the final. We were in the final in Calgary as well."

Homan's team won $11,000 as the second-place finisher at Calgary's Autumn Gold Curling Classic on Oct. 5-8, also a women's Grand Slam event.

Team Lawton has played in three events this year. They qualified for the playoff round in Calgary and made it to the semifinals at The Shootout in Edmonton.

It is the second Grand Slam title this calendar year for the Lawton team, which finished off the 2011-12 season last April by winning $28,000 and the Sun Life Financial Players' Championship in Summerside, P.E.I.

The next event on the women's WCT is the $36,000 Red Deer Classic, Nov. 2-5 in Red Deer, Alta. There is also a $33,000 men's WCT event at the same time.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 23, 2012 D2

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