A curling team from Lacombe has earned the right to call themselves the best of their age group in the country after winning the Canadian 65-plus Mixed Curling Championship last week.
The four-person team of Gwen Farnsworth, John Basarab, Wendy Long, and Lyle Lorenz defeated Saskatchewan 7-6 after an extra end in the finals during the 2022 Canada 55-plus Games in Kamloops Aug. 23-26. They represented Alberta during the tournament which had over 2,500 participants.
The team finished the round robin round first in the standings with only one loss to Ontario. In the semi-finals, they secured a dominating 7-1 win against Nova Scotia before beating Saskatchewan in the finals.
“It was an exciting game, Saskatchewan was in control coming home on the eighth end ahead 6-3 but they scored three to tie us to force the extra end. Fortunately, we came out with the winning point in the last end,” Lorenz said.
“We should have been able to win it in regulation time but there were you know pressure and nerves and we all missed shots here and there… They really curled well in the last end and they deserved to score three in a way because they made their shots.”
The four of them have only been curling as a team since earlier this year at a few bonspiels before they went undefeated at the Alberta 65+ Mixed Curling Championships in Edmonton where they qualified to represent Alberta in the Canada 55+ Games in Kamloops. Lorenz, Farnsworth, and Basarab also curl together in a mixed league back home.
Lorenz said they enjoyed the experience and the competition they faced was really good.
“Overall the experience was super,” he said. “It’s not easy to find four people over 65 that are keen to go to the distance because there’s a lot of commitment and time.”
When they first formed the team they knew they would be competitive and the confidence came from playing against and with one another in the past.
“My experience with John and Gwen is that they’re good curlers and we needed a fourth… Wendy Long from Delburne my sister in law she’s curled in quite a few provincial senior playoffs,” Lorenz said. “She’s curled a lot over the years and I knew she was a good curler. We often talked about curling together in something down the road and it happened that we decided to curl together this year.”
“It just seemed like a natural fit for the four of us so we decided to get together and take a run at it and it worked out well,” he added.