Sara McMann and her RDC Queens curling team had a different outlook heading into this year’s Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championship.
“In previous years it seemed we looked beyond the provincials to the nationals. This year our goal were more provincially orientated,” explained McMann, who is in her third year with the Queens, her first at skip.
“(Head coach) Brad (Hamilton) stressed concentrating on the provincials and not the nationals.”
It worked to perfection as the Queens captured their first ACAC title in 36 years, defeating MacEwan University 6-2 in the final.
“It’s been a long time since we won this and it’s a good feeling.”
Sara is the first to talk about how important the team is, especially after being selected the ACAC female curler of the year.
“I certainly didn’t expect to win and it’s definitely a team award,” she said.
“It shows the progress the team made this year. Without the others making their shots and sweeping we wouldn’t be where we are. No way I could win this alone.”
McMann played second two years ago and third for Marla Sherrer’s national championship team last season.
The Queens, which also includes third Brett Day, second Shelby Primrose and lead Katie Primrose, started with a 3-3 record at the Fall Regional. They posted a 5-1 mark at the Winter regional, and they were 5-0 at the championships.
“We lost our skip (Sherrer) and added Shelby so there was some change this year, but we felt we had a strong team, and once we got our feet under us, we felt we could win and go back to the Nationals.”
The 21-year-old native of Chauvin got into curling in Grade 4.
“Growing up in a small town you were involved in different sports,” said McMann, who also played high school badminton and volleyball.
“My family didn’t play, but I got involved through the school, and it seemed to be my sport.”
McMann threw third stones before skipping her own rink in Grade 9. She won the provincial high school title in Grade 11 and finished second to a team from Morin, which included Shelby and Katie Primrose, in Grade 12.
“Now we’re teammates and champions,” said McMann with a smile.
In fact Sara and Day are both in the Nursing program.
“We take the same classes together and have become close friends, so the team is close,” she said.
So when Sara took over as skip this season it was a smooth transition.
“I didn’t mind taking on the leadership role,” she said.