Longtime friends/teammates Jim Cotter (left) and Rick Sawatsky of Vernon will have the chance to win a 10th B.C. men’s curling championship in Chilliwack Jan. 10-15. (Facebook photo)

Longtime friends/teammates Jim Cotter (left) and Rick Sawatsky of Vernon will have the chance to win a 10th B.C. men’s curling championship in Chilliwack Jan. 10-15. (Facebook photo)

Vernon curlers qualify for B.C. men’s championship

Rink skipped by Jim Cotter captures one of five qualifying spots at event in Delta

Two longtime Vernon curling friends will have a chance at a 10th B.C. men’s Purple Heart.

Skip Jim Cotter and lead Rick Sawatsky, along with teammates Grant Olsen of Kamloops at third, and second Andrew Nerpin of Kelowna, will compete at the 2023 B.C. Men’s Tankard Jan. 10-15 at the Chilliwack Curling Club.

Cotter and Sawatsky have won nine provincial titles as teammates.

The rink grabbed one of five available spots at a weekend qualifying tournament in Delta Dec. 9-11.

The Cotter quartet went 3-2, taking one of two qualifying berths out of the C event.

Cotter began the playdowns with a 10-7 loss to Matthew McGrady of New Westminster, then rebounded to beat Adam Fenton of New West 9-4. Cotter then downed Trevor Ritchie of Vancouver 6-2 before falling 9-6 to Dean Joanisse of Maple Ridge. Former Vernon curler Brendan Willis throws second rocks for Joanisse.

Cotter advanced to the provincials with an 11-6 win over McGrady. Cotter and company won bronze at the 2022 provincial championships in Cotter’s hometown of Kamloops.

Rob Nobert of Vernon and his rink of third Adam Cseke, second Logan Miron and lead Cam Weir went 0-3 at the qualifier.

Nobert fell 8-3 to Ritchie, 9-4 to Zane Bartlett of Victoria and 7-3 to McGrady.

Jason Montgomery of Victoria won the A event to qualify for Chilliwack. Chris Medford of Kimberley and Joanisse grabbed B event qualifying spots, and Fenton won the other C qualifier.

Delta was also the site of a qualifying event for the B.C. Scotties provincial ladies championship, which will run concurrent with the men’s event in Chilliwack in January.

Vernon’s Katelyn McGillivray played third for Kelowna’s Kaila Buchy rink, and Jaelyn Cotter of Vernon threw second stones.

The rink went 0-3 in Delta, losing 9-3 to Shiella Cowan of New Westminster, 9-5 to Sarah Wark’s Abbotsford rink, and 13-8 to Donna Mychaluk of Langley.

Kristen Ryan from Maple Ridge (A event), Tayor Reese-Hansen of Victoria (B) and C event qualifiers Wark and Cowan grabbed berths to the provincial finals.

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@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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