Val Sweeting’s team splitting up after curling season

Val Sweeting talks about managing work, curling and personal life between herself and her teammates. They are mothers, teachers and curlers. They are Sweeting Nation.

Curling team changes continue with Val Sweeting’s team announcing they’re breaking up at the end of the season.

The Edmonton-based club made the announcement Wednesday on social media.

“The last four years have been an incredible experience as we chased our dreams around the world,” Team Sweeting wrote in a post on Facebook and Twitter. “Championships were won and lost. Memories, lives, tears and laughs were shared that will never be forgotten.

“However, we would like to share that we will be parting ways after this season. Even though we will not be calling each other teammates anymore, we will always remain friends and grateful for the opportunities we experienced together. We wish each other the best — both on and off the ice.”

Sweeting has played with lead Rachel Brown since 2011. Dana Ferguson came on board at third the following season and switched spots with second Joanne Courtney the year after. They earned the silver medal at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2014 and Courtney moved at the conclusion of the Olympic cycle to link up with Rachel Homan’s team based in Ottawa.

Team Sweeting added Andrea Crawford from New Brunswick at third to start the quadrennial but things didn’t work out. Crawford left on the eve of the Masters in late October 2014 and Cathy Overton-Clapham filled in as a super spare for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling major tournament. Sweeting pulled off a remarkable run at the Masters to capture her first career championship in the series.

Lori-Olson Johns joined shortly thereafter as their new full-time third. They claimed the 2014 Canada Cup and earned a second consecutive silver at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts that season.

Sweeting captured back-to-back Tour Challenge Tier 1 titles in 2016 and 2017 to bring her Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling championship count to three. They also earned the GSOC Bonus Cup in 2016-17 as the season champions in the series.

The team turned things around after a slow start at the Canadian Olympic curling trials in December but just missed the playoffs finishing with a 4-4 record.

Ranked 14th on the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date standings, Sweeting has qualified for the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup by winning the Tour Challenge Tier 1 in September.

While the curling season doesn’t wrap up until late April, there has already been a flurry of activity on the market. Team Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., and Edmonton’s Team Kelsey Rocque have both announced they’re splitting up. Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson is pursuing other options for next season while her teammates plan to stick together and are on the lookout for a new skip.

Meanwhile, Team Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., posted on social media last week they’re staying put.

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