Groundwater rises to the top in women's bonspiel

Twelve-year-old Isabelle Groundwater wasn't nervous, she just went about her business setting the table for her curling team in the final of the Prince George women's bonspiel.
She knew if she got into trouble putting rocks into places that weren't part of the team strategy, her mother Simone had enough experience as a skip to bail them out.
It turns out they weren't the only mother-daughter connection making the ice work for them in the three-day tournament at Prince George Golf and Curling Club. Laura Ball and her 24-year-old daughter Michelle were playing third and second respectively for the Groundwater team from Williams Lake and together they created some magic memories for the family archives in Sunday's 6-3 win in the final over Fallon Burkitt.
"That was really exciting - good shots and consistency," said Isabelle, who started playing the game in 2015 - a third of her lifetime ago.
"I'm so proud of her, she did excellent," said Simone. "It's always great to have the opportunity to curl with your kids. You don't get that very often and this is her first bonspiel out of town. She brought her A-game today."
Laura Ball has two daughters and has curled with them both but that doesn't happen nearly often enough now that her daughter Jessica has moved to Halifax.
"This is really quite an opportunity to get to do this, and having somebody as young and enthusiastic as Isabelle is pretty exciting," said Laura. "She gives us our energy."
Groundwater scored two in the fourth for a 4-2 lead and stole another in the fifth end. Burkitt got within two in the sixth but Groundwater matched that with one on the seventh and ran their opponents out of rocks in the eighth.
The Williams Lake crew was among 19 women's teams entered in the bonspiel and they split their winnings evenly four ways.
"I'm going to buy a new broom," said Isabelle.
They won all four of their games in their path to the trophy.
"This was a battle right to the end," said Simone Groundwater. "This was a great event Prince George put on, they always have great competitive teams.
In the B final, Wendee Copeland defeated Whitney Christy of Quesnel 8-5, while in the C final, Tracey Jones edged Pam Boehmer 9-8.
Burkitt, a Prince George native who now lives in Vernon, needed an extra end to defeat Tracy Kostiuk of Grande Prairie in a semifinal right before the final. No doubt that had a draining effect on Burkitt and her team of third Julia Shaddock, second Susan Dalziel and lead Debbie Dallas.
"I think we made it a little harder than we needed to," laughed Burkitt.
"It's always great to play in this. We made some good shots and it was a lot of fun."
Burkitt's brother Devin skipped the winning team in the 92nd Kelly Cup championship, also played over the weekend at PGGCC. He hooked up with Dustyn Wozny, Gerry Richard and Doug Dalziel to defeat Michael Dahms 7-3.

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