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Sweeting is unexpected leader at Canadian Olympic Curling Trials

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According to TSN, Valerie Sweeting of Edmonton is the surprise leader after the fifth draw Monday of the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Winnipeg.

Sweeting shocked Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon 8-6 in Monday's morning draw and then stunned Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg 9-6 in Monday's evening draw. She is now the only unbeaten team in the field at 3-0.

There are may reasons why Sweeting, who was the last to qualify for the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, is at the top of the standings

First, she is getting outstanding sweeping from her front end. Joanne Courtney, who actually plays third, but does not hold the broom when Sweeting throws her stones, has teamed up with lead Rachelle Pidherny to be a dynamic duo.

Secondly, Sweeting's team has not made a major mistake. In draw one, in Sweeting's stunning 10-3 win over defending Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Rachel Homan of Ottawa, Sweeting had back-to-back two point steals. Then today, Sweeting stole a key point in the fourth end to take a 5-1 lead over Lawton and then stole four points in one end tonight against Jones after Jones's final shot in the seventh went right through the rings.

Thirdly, Sweeting is getting great coaching from former Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Amber Holland, who has come on as Sweeting's fifth. Holland is also acting as the team's assistant coach, and is very active in strategical decisions.

Sweeting leads Jennifer Jones and Chelsea Carey of Winnipeg in the standings, who are tied for second at 2-1.

On the men's side, Edmonton's Kevin Martin, Kelowna's John Morris and Ontario's Brad Jacobs are at 2-0.

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