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Featured Curling Athlete: Stefanie Lawton

It’s not a matter of “if” Stefanie Lawton wins a Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women’s curling championship; it’s a matter of “when.”

Stefanie Lawton in action at the 2010 Canada Cup of Curling (Photo Michael Burns)

The 30-year-old chartered accountant from Saskatoon has been one of Canada’s most consistent performers at the skip position over the past few seasons, but it’s hardly like she came out of nowhere.

Originally from Shellbrook, Sask., Lawton (then Stefanie Miller) carved out a brilliant career as a junior, winning four Saskatchewan junior championships with her younger sister Marliese throwing third rocks.

After finishing at the Canadian juniors in both 1997 and 1999, that sister combination reached the national final to play P.E.I.’s Suzanne Gaudet (now Suzanne Birt) in two straight years, winning the 2000 final at Moncton, then losing a year later in St. Catharines.

After the 2000 victory, Lawton skipped Team Canada to a silver medal at the world junior championship in Geising, Germany, falling 6-5 to Sweden’s Matilda Mattsson in the gold-medal game.

Lawton has carried that success into women’s play; curling out of one of the country’s toughest provinces, Lawton has won a pair of Saskatchewan women’s championships, in 2005 and 2009, and finished fourth at the national Scotties in both years, earning first-team all-star skip honours in 2009 at Victoria.

As well, Lawton has qualified for the past two Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, finishing third in 2005 at Halifax and fifth four years later at Edmonton.

Lawton’s Saskatoon team — which features Sherry Anderson at third, Sherri Singler at second and her sister Marliese Kasner at lead — will head to Cranbrook, B.C., later this month gunning for back-to-back titles (and a third overall) at the Capital One Canada Cup of Curling, which kicks off Nov. 30 at the Cranbrook RecPlex.

Birthplace: Prince Albert, Sask.
Hometown: Originally from Shellbrook, now live in Saskatoon
Curling Club: Granite Curling Club
Current Team: Team Lawton
Position: Skip
Delivery: Right
Nickname: Stef

Quick Hits with Stefanie Lawton

Do you have any superstitions?
“Tons — I can make a superstition pretty much out of anything. Lucky shirt, socks, pre-game food, music . . . anything can potentially work.”

Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Julia Roberts.”

If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Golf — who wouldn’t want to be on the golf course all day, every day!”

If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“Change all timed games to ‘thinking time’ method.”

What music, if any, do you like to listen to before a game?
“No preference; anything that’s on the radio.”

Favourite:
— Website? “saskcurl.com.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “Toasted chicken club, cheese croissant and a milk.”
— Vacation destination? “Waskesiu Lake.”
— Junk food? “Salt ’n’ vinegar chips.”

Do you have any pet peeves?
“People who are constantly late; and drivers who cut me off.”

Person who had the most influence on your curling career?
“My mom and dad; not only did they get me involved in curling at an early age but they both coached me throughout my curling career and have been with me every step of the way.”

First thing on your Bucket List?
“Vacation in all parts of Canada; I haven’t been to P.E.I., Quebec or the Territories yet!”

Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Napping! I need to catch up on sleep when away from my five-month-old.”

Mixed doubles in the Olympics — thumbs up? Thumbs down? And why?
“Thumbs up — it would be great to see another curling event at the Olympics.”

One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I am not a coffee drinker.”

Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“A hit to run the other team out of rocks.”