Ky Macaulay has become the first Alberta curler to win back-to-back provincial U21 mixed doubles championships.
Teaming up this year with Serena Gray-Withers, also skip of the UAlberta women's team, they defeated Rachel Jacques, 9-4, in the final.
Macaulay and Serena Gray-Withers won all but the one draw. Unfortunately, it was the 'A' qualifier and it took four more wins to claim the 'B' side and advance to the final.
The final was tied 3-3 in the fourth end before they were able to build momentum.
"Both teams were just missing those key shots by a few inches," he says. "After the fourth end, we looked at each other and said, let's really get going here, let's start capitalizing on their misses, and that's kind of what we did. We ended up taking three points in the fifth end, then we played really hard in the sixth and seventh to come out on top."
Macaulay says there was a larger field this year, and they were all top pairings. He says mixed doubles continues to grow in popularity in Alberta and that some junior teams have stepped back entirely from the traditional four-person game.
At this point, though, only four provinces have U21 mixed doubles champions, so there isn't a national championship.
"But Curling Alberta wants us to feel proud about representing Alberta and being Alberta championships, so they're having Alberta Jackets made for us, which is really cool."
He believes there will one day be a national championship.
"I find mixed doubles is a really cool game because you have to be able to get over losses and missed shots quickly, and you really have to trust your teammates because it's only you and her out there."
He says he tends to be more focused and relaxed in big games and is able to rely on the experience of competing in several provincial finals.
"I can kind of go back to those games and use the experience I've gotten from them to be prepared to make those high-pressure spots without totally freaking out."
That's his last major bonspiel of the season. He looks forward to some league events and maybe a few fun bonspiels before heading into the off-season.
Last year, Macaulay teamed up with Subasthika Thangadurai to win the championship.
Well-known Cochrane curler Zoe Cinnamon also participated in the championship with Edmonton curler Zach Davies. Larry Cinnamon coached.