Lauren Lenentine’s decision to move across Canada has paid off.
The 19-year-old from New Dominion and Truro, N.S., native Karlee moved to Winnipeg this season to join the Mackenzie Zacharias-skipped rink. Emily Zacharias rounds out the Manitoba team that went a perfect 11-0 (won-lost) en route to winning the Canadian junior women’s curling championship in Langley, B.C., on Sunday afternoon. Manitoba defeated Alberta’s Abby Marks 10-3 in the final.
“At the end of last season, my teammate Karlee Burgess reached out to the Zacharias sisters and they formed a team and asked me to join as well,” explained Lenentine. “It was a big decision to move to Winnipeg and it was a great opportunity. I could not pass it up.”
Lenentine said she saw lots of potential and admitted winning the Canadian under-21 championship was one of the rink’s goals. Lenentine plays lead, Emily Zacharias is the second stone and Burgess handles the third-stone responsibilities.
“We had a really good week,” Lenentine told the Journal Pioneer in a phone interview on Monday morning. “We put a lot of work in leading up and we had a successful week. We played a lot of really good teams.”
After moving to Halifax last year to play with the Kaitlyn Jones rink, the 2019-2020 season marked Lenentine’s second move in as many years.
“It’s been really easy,” said Lenentine. “At school, I was in science at Dalhousie, so I just transferred out to the University of Manitoba. That was super easy.
“I live with Mackenzie and Emily. They are great roommates and that's made it easy to have people that I know to live with.”
Did You Know
Lauren Lenentine became the first curler to represent three provinces at the Canadian junior curling championships last week.
Lenentine played the lead position on the Mackenzie Zacharias rink from Manitoba that won the Canadian championship in Langley, B.C., on Sunday. Manitoba defeated Alberta’s Abby Marks 10-3 in the final.
Downplays all-star award
Although she was named to the first all-star team for the lead position after shooting 86 per cent during the round robin, Lenentine downplayed that accomplishment.
“It’s a team sport, that’s the way I like to look at it,” she added. “It’s not just me.”
Her skip, however, was more than happy to discuss how important the Prince Edward Islander has been to the rink’s success.
“The lead shots are some of the most important shots of the end,” said Zacharias. “If your lead doesn’t put the rocks in the right position, it makes the rest of the end hard and your skip is not going to have a shot then.
“With Lauren being able to put those rocks in the right place almost every time, it makes it easy on the rest of the team and easy on me.”
Lenentine also holds the broom for skip rocks.
“Lauren played third last year and she used to skip, so she is a wealth of experience calling line,” said the rink’s skip. “I always trust her in the house and she gives great feedback and strategy when I am throwing.
“From a lead position, she makes everything. It's incredible. She is a great player and a great one to have on the team.”
Russia next stop
Team Zacharias will now turn their attention to the world junior curling championships in Russia in two weeks.
“I am super excited,” said Lenentine. “Any chance you get to wear the Maple Leaf is amazing.
“I am looking forward to that and I think we have a really good team so we are excited to see what happens.”
This will mark Lenentine’s second appearance at the world juniors. She won a gold medal as the alternate with Nova Scotia’s Kaitlyn Jones in 2018. Burgess played second stone on that rink.
“The tournament is very similar to nationals, so in that aspect, we will be well prepared,” said Lenentine. “The biggest thing for me is all the different teams and everyone doesn’t speak English, which is a big thing.
“You can't communicate with everyone. The last time we were in Scotland so we could understand the language there, but being in Russia it will be a little bit different.”
- Click here for story on Lauren Lenentine and her Manitoba teammates winning Canadian junior women's curling championship:
- World women's curling championship schedule