Crocker and Muyres find granite magic to capture mixed doubles curling national title

LEDUC, Alta. — They had only played six games together prior to the 2018 Canadian mixed doubles curling championships in Leduc, Alta., but Laura Crocker and Kirk Muyres found some granite magic on Sunday to capture this year’s title. 

The two were facing the previously undefeated young Manitoba team of Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott. 

Sahaidak, just 18 years old, was playing in her first-ever national event but was seemingly unaffected by the pressure of the tournament. Unfortunately for them both, the one loss came at the worst possible time.

Their somewhat improbable run came to an end, losing to Crocker and Muyres 8-7 in a thrilling championship game that came down to the last shot.

Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship from Leduc, Alberta2:02:59

Crocker had to make an open takeout with her final stone. 

“This is amazing,” she said. “I just tried to fall back on my process. Took my time and didn’t rush through anything on the last throw.”

Crocker and Muyres were flawless throughout much of the game. At the midway point, they were shooting 91 per cent as a team.

“Laura made a couple pistols late in the game to keep us in it,” Muyres said. “She’s a winner and I’m glad I was throwing before her.” 

Crocker, who won a Canadian junior title in 2010 playing second with Team Homan, is now getting to wear the maple leaf for the second time at an international event. The duo will now represent Canada at the 2018 world mixed doubles curling championships in Sweden in late April.

“There’s no better feeling. I think if I say too much more about it I’ll get emotional,” Crocker said.

Muyres is also making his second international appearance for Canada at a curling event. In 2011, he was part of a Saskatchewan junior team that won the Canadian title and went to the world championships. Now he’s ready to wear the red and white again. 

“I’ve been dreaming about this every day since that last time, so to be able to do it again is as good as it gets,” Muyres said. 

How they came together

Crocker normally plays mixed doubles with her fiancé Geoff Walker, but he’s with Team Gushue competing at the men’s world curling championship in Las Vegas. 

Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship from Leduc, Alberta1:45:24

Walker was watching the game online and said “it was much more stressful than it should have been,” to which his soon-to-be wife said “now he knows how I feel watching him all the time.”

Crocker says she first approached Muyres at the Brier patch last month in Regina because Walker wasn’t going to be available.

“I knew he was a good player and yes, it was in the Brier Patch, and yes, I was sober enough to know what I was asking him,” Crocker said.

“If it was on a scale of one to ten and one was sober, we were probably at a four,” Muyres said with a smile. “She even text me the next morning to confirm I actually meant what I said.”

Now the two are headed to Sweden wearing the Canadian colours at the 2018 world mixed doubles curling championships. 

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