Team Richards, from left: lead Carley Hardie of Duncan, second Grace McCusker of North Vancouver, third Keelie Duncan of Comox and skip Gracelyn Richards of Courtenay. Photo supplied

Team Richards, from left: lead Carley Hardie of Duncan, second Grace McCusker of North Vancouver, third Keelie Duncan of Comox and skip Gracelyn Richards of Courtenay. Photo supplied

Comox Valley curling team tops B.C. standings in two age groups

The Richards rink has kickstarted the B.C. junior curling season with a bang, winning their first tour event and then losing a close one in the final on the Thanksgiving weekend.

The team — which includes Gracelyn Richards, 17, of Courtenay and Keelie Duncan, 16, of Comox — won the Anita Cochrane Memorial Junior cashspiel, Sept. 16-19 at the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster.

On Thanksgiving weekend, the team went 4-0 in the round robin at the Golden Ears Tour event in Maple Ridge. They won a close semi-final but were edged out in the final. Down 4-1, the girls battled back and nearly stole their way to a win, losing 5-4.

Sporting a 10-2 record, the team is at the top of the province for the U21 and U18 levels heading into the next stop in Vernon, Thursday, Oct. 21 for the Rick Cotter Memorial Junior Tour event. The following weekend is the U21 Special Worlds Qualifier in Kamloops. Team Richards is seeded number one for both events.

Their home club, the Comox Valley Curling Club, is set to host the 2022 B.C. Junior (U21) Curling Championships Jan. 25-30.