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Newmarket-area curler makes it to mixed-double provincial final

Duo representing Newmarket-based York Curling Club one win short of nationals
York Curling Club's Doug Thomson and Megan Smith battled to the finals of the mixed curling provincials Feb. 22.

Curler Doug Thomson said a chance meeting brought him and fellow curler Megan Smith onto the same team.

Visiting a mutual friend in Ottawa, they decided to carpool together on departure. With both being competitive curlers, Bradford resident Thomson said he jokingly suggested they pair up together. Smith, a resident of Kitchener, agreed.

About one year later, they found themselves at the biggest provincial mixed curling event representing the York Curling Club based in Newmarket — and just one win away from a ticket to nationals.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling, especially because our team was new,” he said. “We put a lot of work in as a team.”

The duo were finalists in this year’s Curling Ontario Kinghome Mixed Double Provincial Championship Feb. 22 to 25 in St. Thomas. After qualifying for the 24-team tournament, they managed a strong run but fell 8-4 in the finals. The winner got the chance to represent Ontario in the national competition.

It was a challenging run, Thomson said. The duo began round-robin play 1-2 but then won two games and a tiebreaker to make it to playoffs.

“We were trying to maximize our practice time and really tweak all the areas that we felt we needed to,” he said. “Leading into it, we were practising as a team at least two to three times a week. We did as many other events as possible in preparation.”

Playoff Sunday went well for the duo, with 8-3 and 9-3 victories in the quarters and semis. But a duo from Ottawa, Lynn Kreviazuk and David Mathers, would ultimately best them in the final after taking an early 4-0 lead.

“It was a pretty close game. The scoreboard shows 8-4. It was definitely closer,” he said. “Our opponents are great curlers themselves. We just kind of ran out of steam.” 

Thomson has played curling through high school and university. He said he was surprised how he fell for the sport.

“Seems like a really boring sport,” he said of his first impression of watching curling. “I got brought out to it and just fell in love with the game. It’s physically challenging, as well as a very strategic game. Kind of the best of both worlds for me.” 

The 27-year-old continued playing in his adult years. A pursuit of practice time led him to the York Curling Club, which had more ice available, and soon he became a regular there.

The provincial championship is a big deal for curlers, Thomson said, with a national trip and chance to represent the province on the line.

Off-season is ahead, but Thomson said he and Smith plan to continue on next year. They hope to travel to more competitions out of province and potentially qualify for nationals via tournament points if they cannot win the provincial title next year.

“Getting to nationals is definitely an accomplishment,” he said. “It’s not an easy road, but getting to nationals and representing your province is definitely a big dream.”