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Field set for local Grand Slam of Curling event

Brad Jacobs and Kerri Einarson will both look to defend their titles
2016-12-09 Team Jacobs Grand Slam of Curling KA
Team Jacobs at the Grand Slam of Curling event in Sault Ste. Marie - Dec. 2016. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

The field for the next Grand Slam of Curling event, set to open in Sault Ste. Marie on Nov. 14, has been announced.

The field, which includes Brad Jacobs and his team from the Community First Curling Centre locally, will see 15 men’s and 15 women’s teams compete in three pools of five teams.

On the men’s side, the field includes:

  • Pool A: Brad Gushue, Mike McEwen, John Morris, Greg Balsdon, Bruce Mouat
  • Pool B: Brad Jacobs, Kevin Koe, Jason Gunnlaugson, William Lyburn, Greg Drummond
  • Pool C: Reid Carruthers, John Epping, Pat Simmons, Rui Liu, Chang-Min Kim

The women’s field includes:

  • Pool A: Rachel Homan, Michelle Englot, Jaqueline Harrison, Kerri Einarson, Tracy Fleury
  • Pool B: Jennifer Jones, Alina Paetz, Casey Scheidegger, Kelsey Rocque, Julie Tippin
  • Pool C: Val Sweeting, Allison Flaxey, Bingyu Wang, Chelsea Carey, Binia Feltscher

The National is the third event, and second major, on the Grand Slam of Curling schedule.

Teams earned invites based on the World Curling Tour’s order of merit system as of Oct. 9. In the event a team declined, the next ranked team earned an invite.

The winning teams earn $30,000 each along with spots in the Champions Cup at the end of the season in Calgary. Teams also earn points for the Bonus Cup, which is awarded to the overall season champions following the Players Championship in April.

Teams will play four round robin games, facing each team in their respective pool once. The top eight teams will then qualify for the playoff round.

Last year, Jacobs defeated Carruthers in the men’s final while Einarson beat Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland in the women’s final.

Gushue enters the tournament having won the opening two Grand Slam events while Sweeting and Jones had Grand Slam tournament wins entering the National.