The Trent University varsity curling teams are looking forward to their season this year, kicking off the first inter-school competition of the season during the exhibition bonspiel held on Saturday, November 22 and Sunday, November 23 at the Peterborough Curling Club.
The bonspiel brought teams from Brock, Carleton, Laurier, Queens and UOIT to Peterborough for some friendly competition.
There are 11 Trent varsity curlers this season, with the men’s team consisting of six players and the women’s team consisting of five.
For the men, the team members are Brad Robinson, David Bolsby, Ryan Davis, Dillon Muldoon, Derek Hutcheson and Chad Ramsay. The women’s team has Kristina Adams, Jennifer Wale, Julie O’Donnell, Catherine Alksnis and Olivia Huber.
“I hope we can make some noise,” said coach David Farnell prior to the exhibition bonspiel.
While the teams didn’t come in first, the men won their first game against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology 8 to 4 and the women took theirs 6 to 4.
In the end, the men finished sixth, and the women finished fourth.
The Trent University varsity curling season begins with a meeting around mid-September for those who are interested in trying out for the curling teams.
“We try to explain to them that this is what we’re about, this is what you’re getting into,” said Farnell. Farnell coaches alongside Steve Whitehill and Brad Kidd.
The ice goes into the Peterborough curling club in late September, when it does tryouts consisting of a few days of ice time so the coaches can get to know the individuals. Selections are made and posted a week or so later.
The Trent teams then participate weekly in the local league, playing each Wednesday night. Those who can make it also practice Thursday evenings.
The league play is preparation for the Ontario University Athletics bonspiel, with this years’ taking place in Guelph from February 18 to 23.
Exhibition bonspiels, such as the one hosted here in Peterborough, give the schools a chance to get some playtime against those who will be their opponents in February.
Last year a new element was introduced, with the curlers beginning athletic conditioning. “The students work with Garth Myles who is our personal trainer at the athletic centre,” said Farnell.
The training has been a hit with the team members. “It’s definitely a good thing for the sweepers.” said Hutcheson adding that the training regimen is designed specifically for curling, with a focus on brief spurts of activity. “I like it,” agreed Davis, “It gets you in shape, it keeps you healthy.”
The two teams looked impressive out on the ice Saturday morning, and they themselves recognize the dynamic between the members. “The people at Trent are so nice,” said Davis. “I like this team.”
The teams foresee a challenge this season, but are eager to meet it. “We only won one OUA game last year,” said Brad Robinson, stating that this year’s goal is to improve on that.
It won’t be easy, though, because as Hutcheson puts it, “all the teams are high level.” Easy season or not, the Trent University varsity curling teams are ready to rock.
[This article was updated on 24/11/14 to reflect the final standings of the bonspiel after the results were announced.]