Trysta Vandale’s performance in Switzerland might have earned her and her teammates a trip to Summerland P.E.I. for the Olympic pre-trials tournament. Photo submitted

Team Thompson performs

Earn much needed points in Europe

Elkford-born Trysta Vandale and her team were awarded a bronze medal at the 2017 European Masters tournament in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The tournament ran from April 19-23 and included a number of European teams.

Vandale is the lead for Team Thompson. Their performance in Switzerland earned her and teammates Skip Karla Thompson, Kristen Recksiedler and Shannon Aleksic a much-needed 9.26 points.

This vaulted them from 18th to 17th place in Curling Canada’s overall ranking, which might have earned them a spot at the Olympic pre-trials tournament in Summerland, PEI in November.

They have yet to receive official notice from Curling Canada but were told they only needed five points to qualify.

If they perform well in Summerland, they could earn themselves a spot in the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings tournament at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, the winner of which will represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

And her mother could not be prouder.

“It’s thrilling to see her achieve her goals and get to where she’s worked so hard to be,” said her mother Terry Vandale. “Both her dad and I are very proud of her and her team.”

Trysta and Team Thompson have been performing well at recent competitions. They won the 2016 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship, which was hosted by the Coquitlam Curling Club. In November, they placed third at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournament in Cranbrook.

She now lives in Port Moody but she often returns to Elkford, where she first started curling at the age of five. She was back in her hometown last December to put on a on a clinic for junior curlers where she presented a Scotties Tournament of Hearts banner to the Elkford Curling Club.

“It makes those kids aware that even if you’re from a small town in the mountains, you can still make it,” said Terry.