NEEPAWA -- It took her father, Bob Jenion, five finals spread over 40 years before he finally won the first provincial curling title of his life at the tender age of 54.
He paid, to put it mildly, his curling dues.
And so too has his daughter Kristy Jenion, who today sits on the precipice of finally snapping her own hard-luck curling tale. And at 29, a full quarter-century before her dad.
Five times in the last five years, the younger Jenion has advanced to the playoffs of the Manitoba women's curling championship. Four times previously, she has come away empty and disheartened -- including twice in the final.
It has been a long and difficult road for both Jenions in this game. And so you could excuse the daughter today if she goes directly from the championship podium to making angels in the snow outside the Yellowhead Centre.
This one -- if it finally, mercifully comes -- has been a long time coming.
"I've definitely had moments where I didn't know if I wanted to continue because it's pretty hard, it's pretty stressful," Jenion said here Saturday. "But you know, I think of him and how he won it at 54 years old and that keeps me going,"
Go figure, though, that a Jenion is going to have to do things the hard way today. Jenion headed into last night's Page playoff 1 vs. 1 game with Barb Spencer as the only undefeated team remaining and with a chance to vault straight into today's final.
But Spencer drew the four-foot with the last rock of the game to win 4-3 and it's the two-time former Manitoba women's champion who won the bye to the final, while Jenion will have to play another former Manitoba women's champion in Karen Porritt in this morning's semi-final. Porritt defeated Chelsea Carey 9-5 in the 2 vs. 2 game to advance.
The winner of the semifinal will have to face a confident Spencer team this afternoon. "It feels really good this time," said Spencer third Darcy Robertson. "We're playing well, we feel really good about this team. It just feels right."
Bob Jenion lost a junior provincial final in the 1960s and then lost three provincial men's finals in a row, in 1971, 1975 and 1990, before he finally broke through in 2003 as third for John Bubbs. As the coach of his daughter's team, he had some advice.
"If you're thinking about what happened last year or in the past, you've already lost," said Jenion. "I tell them to just have fun."
LOOSEHAIRS -- At the Canadian Juniors in Salmon Arm B.C., Winnipeg's Kaitlyn Lawes drew the button to defeat Alberta 7-6 in an extra end semifinal last night and advance to today's Canadian Junior Women's final against Ontario's Rachel Homan. The game will be televised live on TSN at 1:30 p.m... The provincial Scotties all-star team was announced last night. Named to the team were Chelsea Carey lead Lindsay Titheridge; Barb Spencer second Brett Richards; Karen Porritt third Janice Blair and skip Kristy Jenion.