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Jackson rink set to shine on national stage

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Team Jackson is ready to show what it can do on a national stage.

The rink—which includes locals Kathie Jackson (skip), Michelle McFayden (lead), Jacquee Loerzel (second), Leanne Eluik (third), and Teresa McFayden (fifth)—went 6-0 en route to nabbing the title with a 9-4 triumph over Lisa Wilson (Timmins) in final at the Travelers Curling Club provincials back in March to qualify for the nationals slated for Nov. 19-24 in Miramichi, N.B.

It's safe to say the rink is happy to represent Northern Ontario.

“We are very excited to be going to New Brunswick to curl and represent Northern Ontario and the Fort Frances Curling Club,” Jackson enthused.

“This will be my third national in this event, and Leanne's second, so we know what to expect,” she noted.

"This is Jacquee and Michelle's first, so we are hoping they adapt quickly.

“Teresa McFayden is coming as our fifth [curler] and will be great support as this will be her third national, as well,” Jackson said.

A total of 14 men's and 14 women's teams from Curling Canada's Member Associations—the 10 provinces, three territories, and Northern Ontario—will compete in Miramichi.

This will be the 10th edition of the Travelers Curling Club Championship—a week-long event that takes place in a different Canadian city each year and offers an elite national championship experience to Canada's top club curlers.

Each team is allowed only one player who has played in a provincial/territorial juniors', men's (Brier), women's (Scotties), or seniors' championship in the current or previous four curling seasons, or participated in a Grand Slam event in the current or previous four curling seasons.

As well, no player on the teams can have played in a Canadian juniors, men's, women's, or seniors' national championship in the current or previous four seasons.

This marks the third time the Travelers has been staged in Atlantic Canada. In 2010 at Charlottetown, Saskatchewan won men's gold while Alberta claimed the women's gold.

Four years later in Halifax, Saskatchewan (men) and Ontario (women) won the gold medals.

Last year in Kingston, Ont., B.C. won the men's championship while Manitoba captured the women's title.

Overall, Alberta has won three men's titles, followed by Saskatchewan and Ontario with two apiece, while Newfoundland/Labrador and B.C. have won one apiece.

On the women's side, Manitoba teams have won four times, followed by Ontario with three titles, and Alberta and P.E.I. with one each.

“We have been on the ice as much as possible since the club opened, curling two games a week when possible and throwing lots of rocks,” Jackson said about her rink's preparation for the event.

“Our biggest challenge will be the ice," she predicted. ”I need to pick up on how the ice is running and we need to figure out draw weight right away.

“If we can do that, we will have an advantage right from the start,” Jackson remarked.

“We are hoping to curl well and see what happens!”

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