Castleton Curling Club competes in debut match

Toné Sawyer, Alden Livingston, Emily Lencyk and Armand Klisivitch pose for a picture after their first match. Photo courtesy of Armand Klisivitch. 

Three Castleton students who have never curled before enter the UCC College Bonspiel in Utica, New York. Although this may sound like a set up for a joke, it’s not. It is an incredible story.

This year, a few students began the Castleton Curling Club. For the members involved, it has been a great experience. After about two months of practicing and learning the game, the trio of myself (Armand Klisivitch), Alden Livingston, and Tone Sawyer headed off to Utica for the UCC College Bonspiel.

Once we arrived at the rink, we found out that we were going to be the featured match and we would be broadcasted live on Youtube. Once we heard this, we went into a state of panic. We notified our friends and family of the news then realized we only had three players. The problem? A curling team consists of four. Colgate freshmen Emily Lencyk ended up stepping in to fill the void in our lineup.

The atmosphere in the rink was nothing like we had ever experienced. With five other games going on at the same time, it was difficult to distinguish our skips voice from the other skips. In the sport of curling, the skip is the captain of a team. The skip determines strategy, and holds the broom in the house (target area) to indicate where a teammate at the other end of the curling sheet (playing area) should aim the stone.

If that wasn’t enough, we still had not gotten adjusted to the dedicated curling ice. The difference between regular ice and dedicated ice is that the stone moves a lot slower over the dedicated ice than it does over the non-dedicated ice. We did not end up winning that day and although we may not have been the most skilled team at the tournament, we made up for it by being the best dressed.

The second day of the tournament was a day of embracing the curling spirit. The day consisted of meeting fellow curlers, sitting around the table playing games, watching olympic curling on TV and, for us, getting advice on what we can do better to improve our game. At this point, we were no longer worried about how we’d been playing in the tournament. Instead, we were just happy to have fun with people who share the same interests as us. At the end of the day, the Spirit of Curling Award was presented. The Spirit of Curling Award is awarded to the player or team that best examplifies the spirit of curling. When they announced that we had won, we were all in a state of shock and awe. It was a really special feeling because we never expected to win something in our first tournament as a team.

We, the Castleton Curling Club look to use this tournament as a building block for next season.

“It is a great way to show how diverse the student athletes here are. With curling, football and soccer, no one sport dominates at Castleton,” sophomore Alden Livingston said, “It’s nice that a small team like the Castleton Curling Club has the opportunity to compete.”

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