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Carstairs curler qualifies for four provincials

Myla Plett curls with Team Cinnamon of Airdrie
MVT local curler A
Myla Plett throws a rock at a recent practice in Airdrie. Submitted photo

CARSTAIRS - For many athletes qualifying for provincials at any level is quite an accomplishment. Doing it two or three times over one’s career is very good.

For Carstairs curler Myla Plett, she has quite possibly the unique honour of qualifying for four provincial tournaments this season.

The 14-year-old Plett, who attends Olds Koinonia Christian School, curls as vice-skip/third with Team Cinnamon of Airdrie.

The team members include skip Zoe Cinnamon from Cochrane, second Raelyn Helston from Calgary, lead Lauren Miller from Airdrie, and fifth Ava Plett, Myla’s older sister. The team is coached by Blair Lenton.

“All four girls on the team have qualified for three separate provincials in three consecutive weeks,” said Brad Plett, Myla’s father. “First off they all travelled to Canmore and qualified with their respective partners for the mixed doubles provincials. That’s an open age category, so adults and everyone.”

Myla partnered with Evan Crough at the mixed doubles provincial qualifier on Nov. 22-24 in Canmore. The mixed doubles provincials take place on Feb. 21-24 in Lethbridge.

The following weekend, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, the athletes travelled to Edmonton for the Excel Cup.

Myla’s team finished third at that event, which featured the top four teams in the standings from Alberta as well as two teams from Saskatchewan.

“They held on to their first-place ranking, which pre-qualified them for U-18 provincials. So they don’t have to go to the qualifier for that,” said Brad.

U-18 Provincial Championships will be held Feb. 27 – March 1 in Sexsmith.

On Dec. 6-8 Team Cinnamon went to the U-21 provincial qualifier in Black Diamond where they once again qualified.

“They lost their first game but won their next two and earned the B qualifier and will compete in U-21 provincials in Lloydminster Jan. 1-5,” he said.

Myla’s big sister Emily Plett also competed at the event. Her team (Team Lepine), also from Airdrie, won three straight to earn the A qualifier.

Emily plays on the Red Deer College curling team in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

This past weekend Myla flew with her dad to Grande Prairie and on to Fairview to compete in the Alberta Winter Games qualifier.

Myla played with a different team (Rachel Jacques of Edmonton, second Chloe Johnson of Okotoks and lead Halla Grunow, also of Okotoks) since the Winter Games are for athletes under 15, said Brad.

Myla's rink qualified for the Alberta Winter Games, which will be held Feb. 14-17 in Airdrie, making it four provincial tournaments qualified for in four consecutive weeks for the young Carstairs curler.

The team won the A qualifier in an extra end, said Brad.

Brad thinks it may be the first time anyone has qualified for four provincials in one year.

“I don’t think that’s ever been done before,” he said. “A lot of these competitions haven’t been in place before.”

Brad said it’s a bit of effort travelling around but well worth it.

“We cart her around,” he said. “She’s been missing some school on Fridays. She gets her assignments in advance so she can stay ahead of the game. She’s in Grade 9 so it’s not too crazy yet.”

Myla is very happy with how the season is going so far.

“I am having such a great time this year so far,” said Myla. “Obviously, we have enjoyed some early wins and qualifying for these provincials has been very exciting, but even more so my teammates and I are having a great time together and we are learning so much from coach Blair (Lenton) as we prepare to achieve our ultimate goal this season of winning provincials so we can go to nationals in Scarborough.”

Myla said keeping up with schoolwork is a challenge but she manages.

“This can sometimes be difficult,” she said. “I’ve had to try to work ahead during the week often because a lot of the bonspiels have started Friday morning. Luckily, my teachers have been very good about giving me assignments I can do at home so I don’t fall behind.”