Cameron forms new team with Grand Slam subs


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Kate Cameron was in a jam.

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Kate Cameron was in a jam.

Last December’s Masters Grand Slam in Oakville, Ont., was only 24 hours away and sisters Casey Scheidegger and Jessie Haughian were unable to play due to a family emergency.

Without their skip and second, New Bothwell’s Cameron and 29-year-old lead Taylor McDonald from Edmonton needed to find some last-minute replacements.

Andrew Klaver / Curling Canada

An act of desperation has lead to Kate Cameron (above) and Taylor McDonald forming a new rink with Meghan Walter and Mackenzie Elias.

They had just wrapped up the DeKalb Superspiel at the Morris Curling Club where they lost the quarter-final to Meghan Walter. Walter, 21, went on to defeat Saskatchewan’s Nancy Martin in the championship game.

“They were fresh in our minds because they just kicked our asses, so, I shot Meg a text and she was like ‘Give me a couple minutes and I’ll get back to you.’ And I think within an hour, she was in,” Cameron, 31, told the Free Press on Tuesday.

Walter’s lead Mackenzie Elias, 22, also agreed to play, giving the Alberta-based team a full lineup.

“We met at the airport and kind of just started bonding right from there. We’re obviously a couple years older than them, just a couple, but we got along really easily. The chemistry on our team was seamless and I think that you can’t notice that Taylor and I are almost old enough to be their mothers,” joked Cameron. The group ended up going 2-2 in their pool before losing a tiebreaker to Chelsea Carey.

That chemistry led to the foursome announcing late last week that they will be playing together full-time next season.

Cameron will skip, Walter is making the move to third, McDonald throws second and Elias will handle lead.

Scheidegger and Haughian are stepping back from competition as they’re both expecting babies in June. Walter and Elias made the difficult decision to move on from Abby Ackland and Sara Oliver after one season of curling together out of the East St. Paul Curling Club. They lost to Jennifer Jones in the Manitoba provincial final and were tabbed Wild Card No. 3 at this year’s Scotties.

The Scheidegger team was Wild Card No. 2. Both wild cards missed out on the playoffs.

“Taylor and Kate both come with a wealth of knowledge and experience and I think that will help Mackenzie and I grow in the game. I think it was a great opportunity to jump on board for the next few years and we couldn’t turn it down,” Walter said.

“We had to make a tough decision to tell (Ackland and Oliver) that we were moving on. I hope they find a great team in the future as they are great curlers. We just had to do what was best for Kenz and I and what our goals were.”

Walter was the youngest skip at the Scotties, but has no issue throwing third.

“I enjoyed every moment of (skipping). Especially being at the Scotties, that was something I didn’t realize I could do at 21. I think looking back, I want to take a step back and look at it from a different perspective for the next three years,” Walter said. “I’m not against skipping in the future, but I think playing third will help me be a better player and maybe a better skip in the years to come.”

Cameron hasn’t skipped a full season since 2013-14. Since then, she’s established herself as one of the most consistent thirds in the game. Cameron played for Michelle Englot and then Allison Flaxey before spending the last four years as an import out of Alberta. She suited up alongside Laura Walker for three years before joining Scheidegger for 2022-23.

Cameron has played at women’s nationals six times, with her best finish coming in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2017 where she made it to the final with Englot before losing to Rachel Homan.

Even though it’s been a while since Cameron played fourth, the new-look team will be contenders in what is the most talented province in women’s curling.

“This past season I had a few opportunities to skip with Casey being pregnant, some illnesses on our team, and a couple family emergencies. So, I think it kind of made me realize that I miss it a little more than I thought,” said Cameron. “I think it’s an exciting opportunity to get back into it. It has been a decade, but it’ll be fun to get back into and I have three girls in front of me that are supporting me and helping me build that confidence.”

McEwen to Saskatchewan

Cameron and Walter joining forces wasn’t the only big move to take place last week.

After a year of curling out of Ontario, Winnipegger Mike McEwen is on the move again, this time, taking his talents to Saskatchewan.

The Brandon-born skip announced a new partnership for next season with Colton Flasch, Kevin Marsh and Dan Marsh. McEwen played with Ryan Fry, Brent Laing, and Joey Hart at this year’s Brier as Ontario’s representative and finished in fourth. Fry, who grew up in Winnipeg, is pressing pause on his curling career, forcing McEwen to explore other options.

Flasch won the 2019 Canadian men’s curling championship as a second for Alberta’s Kevin Koe.

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...


Updated on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 7:13 AM CDT: Adds preview text

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