EDMONTON, ALTA. – The NAIT Ooks men's and women's curling teams will be competing at the CCAA Curling National Championships this weekend in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Update: With one more match each left in round-robin play on Monday morning the men's team have solidified a spot in the semi-finals Monday afternoon. The women will be looking to win their match on Monday morning to punch their ticket to the semi-final
The men's team, skipped by ACAC Curler of the Year Trygg Jensen enters the tournament after a solid year. They went undefeated in the regular season with a 12-0 record, only to fall just short of a gold medal at the ACAC Championships getting upset by the Concordia Thunder. The men will be looking to build upon their CCAA bronze medal last year as they return essentially the same team with just adding one new player in Brett Winfield.
"They all (men's team members) have experience at this competition. That could give them an edge on the competition. The eastern provinces are always tough, and the boys will need to be at the top of their game if they want to win another medal," said NAIT head coach, Jules Owchar.
The women enter the tournament the opposite of the experienced men's team. They are a team of first-years aside from veteran skip Emily Clark. The young team managed to finish second in the regular season with an 8-4 record. They would end up qualifying for the bronze medal game at the ACAC Championships where they defeated the RDC queens. Emily Clark skipped her way to CCAA bronze last year and will be looking to battle her way back to a medal this year with her new squad.
"The team is excited about nationals. The team has a chance to medal. They will all have to play well, and Emily will have to be at the top of her game," said Owchar.
The Ooks are led by veteran coach Jules Owchar. Jules enters the weekend after just returning from the Tim Hortons Brier where he has been a part of the Brad Gushue rink since 2014. Before that, he was a long-time coach of former NAIT Ook and decorated Canadian curling legend, Kevin Martin. At this year's Brier, Jules was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame for his 40 plus years of service and list of accomplishments in the curling world.
Sam Nahrgang • Sports Information • (780) 471-7606 • firstname.lastname@example.org