'Must be genetic': P.E.I. siblings off to curling nationals
Noah and Rachel O'Connor will compete at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships Jan. 21-29 in B.C.
Two curlers from P.E.I. will have family close by when they compete at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Victoria, B.C., next week.
Noah O'Connor is the second on the men's team, while his younger sister Rachel throws lead for the women's team.
"It must be genetic or something," said Noah during practice on Saturday at the Charlottetown Curling Club.
"We're both fairly good at it, and had a lot of fun doing it, so it's great to be able to curl with her at nationals."
Women's coach Pat Quilty says he sees lots of families who all take up one sport, but it's not often that he sees two family members who are both this good.
"It's probably been 10 years since we had a brother and sister both go to nationals from P.E.I.," he said.
Rachel's first time
Noah, who is in his final year as a junior, competed at the nationals last year, as well. But this will be Rachel's first time.
"I'm excited to be able to experience that with him this year," Rachel said. "Just being able to see him curl and win is kind of motivating."
The other members of the men's team, out of the Charlottetown Curling Club, are skip Tyler Smith, third Christopher Gallant and lead Brooks Roche.
The women's team, from the Cornwall Curling Club, also includes skip Lauren Lenentine, third Kristie Rogers and second Breanne Burgoyne.
Won provincials in Montague
They advanced to the nationals by winning the provincial tournament last month in Montague.
The Canadian championships, for curlers younger than 21, takes place Jan. 21-29. The winners will represent Canada at the 2017 World Junior Curling Championships in South Korea.
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With files from Sarah MacMillan