A team of Cloverdale curlers started the new year with a bang, winning a BC Junior Men’s Curling Championship in New Westminster on Jan. 1.
Team Tardi – which includes brothers Tyler and Jordan Tardi, as well as Sterling Middleton and Nicholas Meister – took top spot at the junior event with an 11-5 gold-medal game win over a Victoria rink skipped by Kyle Habkirk.
It was the fourth year competing at the provincial junior event for the Tardi rink, and featured, by far, the toughest competition yet, Tyler Tardi said Wednesday.
“We were expecting it, but it was tough, and we started off a little rocky,” he said.
Team Tardi finished the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 5-2 win-loss record, and defeated Team McCrady in semifinals to earn a berth in the title game against Habkirk’s squad.
Despite a few early stumbles, Tardi said his team improved as the event progressed – in part because of a mid-tournament team meeting.
“We talked to our sports psychologist,” said Tardi, the team’s skip.
“And after a couple of bumps, it (improved).”
Against Habkirk, the Cloverdale rink scored four in the second end, and kept the lead over the Victoria team until the end of the eighth and final end.
With the victory, Team Tardi will now represent B.C. at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships, which are set to run from Jan. 21-29 in Esquimalt.
In addition to the under-21 junior nationals, the team is also preparing for BC Men’s Curling Championships, set for Abbotsford in February.
Members of Team Tardi are no strangers to high-profile events; last year, the team won gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, and have played in numerous provincial and national-level events in the six years the Tardi brothers and Meister have been playing together (Middleton joined the team last year).
“This is definitely a top-three (accomplishment) for us, for sure,” Tardi said.