The 24 finalists in CurlManitoba's province wide Hit-Draw-Tap Competition assembled in Winkler Sunday to determine provincial winners in three age categories.
All seven Manitoba Sport regions were represented in each competition along with and eighth youngster from the host Winkler Curling Club.
Now in its second year, the competition began with nearly 600 young curlers competing at the club level for the privilege of moving on to regional competitions.
The 24 finalists played three different shots - a draw, a tapback on a rock in the front of the 12 foot circle and a takeout on a stone on the back of the button. Scoring was based on final position of the delivered stone with a one for being in play in the free guard zone up to five for a rock biting the button.
The two older age groups, the 9-10 year olds and the 11-13 year olds, played full sheet shots while the youngest group, the 6-8 year olds, played short sheet shots from the hack to the nearest rings.
The winners came from four different Manitoba regions.
In the 6-8 year old age group, Owen Gonty, Grandview took home first prize with Josh Amos, East St. Paul in the finalist position.
Playing in his hometown of Winkler, Nash Sugden topped the 9-10 year old group with Taytum Worms, Carman in second place.
Breyden Bomberak, St. Vital was the winner of the 11-13 year old group. Although he entered at the St. Vital curling club, Breyden also curls in Gimli. Nathan Lepp, Pilot Mound was the finalist in the older category.
The Hit-Draw-Tap program began a year ago in Manitoba, a good idea borrowed from the Ontario Curling Association. Just over 450 participants in 2017 grew to 600 in 2018. As the program continues to expand, it is expected to become a major aspect of CurlManitoba's youth development program.
Every curling facility in the province is invited to host a club competition and a key point is that participants do not have to be members of the club's junior program. All Manitoba children are welcome to participate.
The 2019 provincial Hit-Draw-Tap finals will be played at the Viterra Championship in Virden.