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Haight 2nd Best Again in Summer Spiel Final

Sunday Jul 22 2007

Sunday, 22 July 2007 ? By Resby Coutts

Brad Haight, a young Manitoba shooter with a bright curling future, knows the feel of being a champion.

Among other accomplishments, he owns an MCA Men’s Bonspiel Grand Aggregate title.  One thing he can’t yet claim, despite playing in his second consecutive final, is a championship in the annual mid-summer bonspiel in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Skipping a Bismarck-based team, Haight met former US Junior champion Matt Mielke in the bonspiel final for the second year in a row. Mielke, throwing last rocks for his father Jon and another Bismarck team, led 7-6 coming home and stole the final end and victory when Haight’s last rock tap-back attempt through a port ran straight and wrecked.

Haight (right) and Mielke are pictured in the traditional pre-game handshake

The 20th annual Bismarck Summer Spiel attracted 45 teams from North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

While finesse curling was sometimes missing on tricky summer ice, that point is rarely a concern. Visitors from Canada are unanimous in their praise of the hospitality of the Bismarck Curling Club and usually sign-up for next year’s event before making the trip homeward.

Brandon’s Greg Leachman team, Carberry’s Bart Witherspoon team, and the Shelley Batenchuk foursome from Arborg are among the Manitoba teams already registered for the trip to Bismarck in 2008.

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