The Wall Grain Mixed Doubles Classic, which took place in Kimberly (BC) following last weekend’s GSOC Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, saw the team of Rachel Homan and John Morris win their second Mixed Doubles title of the season. From The Hack caught up with John Morris following the event to discuss his team’s victory in Kimberly and also to discuss mixed doubles and why he believes a curler could successfully compete in both mixed doubles and the team event at the Olympics.
The Wall Grain Mixed Doubles Classic was an important event for the Canadians in the field as a spot in the Olympic Trials was on the line and would be awarded to the top Canadian team in the event. The only two teams to finish the round-robin undefeated were Rachel Homan/John Morris and Emma Miskew/Tyler Griffith who both went 5-0. A series of tiebreakers were required to decide the final playoff spot which eventually went to the team of Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing.
The quarterfinals saw Miskew/Griffith defeat Jones/Laing while Homan/Morris defeated the 2016 U.S. National Champions, Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo who also won a bronze medal at the World Championships. In a third quarterfinal, the team of Kaitlyn Lawes and Marc Kennedy defeat Nancy Martin and Caitlin Schneider who had recently won the Pacific Northwest Mixed Doubles Invitational in Seattle. In their quarterfinal, Canadian champions Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant defeated Marliese Kasner and Dustin Kalthoff who represented Canada at the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Championships when Peterman and Gallant were unable to attend.
In the first semi-final, Lawes/Kennedy and Miskew/Griffith exchanged single points for the first six ends until Lawes/Kennedy stole appoint in the 7th end to take a 4-3 lead. In the last end, Miskew/Griffith scored the first deuce of the game to win 5-4. The other semi-final was a tightly contested game that was tied 3-3 after four ends. Peterman/Gallant scored two points in the 6th end to take a 5-4 lead only to see Homan/Morris score three points in the 7th and then hold on for a 7-6 victory.
Before the final game even started, the team of Miskew and Griffith had already won a spot in the Olympic Trials because the team of Homan and Morris have already qualified. Tyler Griffith joined us to discuss the event and the fact that he qualified for the Olympic Trials in his first ever mixed doubles event:
Rachel Homan and John Morris took a 5-0 lead after two ends of the final on their way to a 7-1 victory. Both finalists will now prepare for the 2017 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Saskatoon next April with the knowledge that they have already qualified for the Olympic Trials.