Laura Walker (curler)

Laura Walker (born November 19, 1990 as Laura Crocker) is a Canadian curler. She is a two-time Canadian University champion, a national junior champion, world junior silver medallist and world mixed doubles bronze medallist. Walker is originally from Scarborough, Ontario but currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta.

Laura Walker
Born
Laura Crocker

(1990-11-19) November 19, 1990
Team
Curling clubSaville Community SC,
Edmonton, AB
SkipLaura Walker
ThirdKate Cameron
SecondTaylor McDonald
LeadNadine Scotland
Mixed doubles
partner
Kirk Muyres
Career
Member Association Ontario (2007-2012)
 Alberta (2012-present)
Hearts appearances0
Top CTRS ranking5th (2017–18)

Junior Career

Walker began her junior curling career as a skip. In 2008, her Scarboro Golf & Country Club rink made it to the provincial junior championships where her team finished with a 2–5 record.[1] In 2010, Walker was invited to join the Rachel Homan junior rink at the second position. The team's regular second, Alison Kreviazuk, was too old to play in juniors that season (but played with the team in World Curling Tour events). The rink would win the provincial championship and the 2010 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, and would then make it to the final of the 2010 World Junior Curling Championships where they lost to Sweden. The following season, Walker and lead Lynn Kreviazuk joined up with the Clancy Grandy junior rink. With Grandy, Walker won her second straight provincial championship but finished with a 5-7 record at the 2011 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, missing the playoffs.

While Walker was finding success with her junior career, she also found success representing Sir Wilfrid Laurier University as a university curler. Walker won the 2011 CIS/CCA Curling Championships defeating Brock University in the final. In her final year at Laurier, Walker would repeat her championship, winning in the final of the 2012 CIS/CCA Curling Championships against Brock once again. Walker graduated that year from Laurier with a BA in Psychology.

Women's Career

Following the 2011–12 season, Walker and teammates Sarah Wilkes and Jen Gates moved from Ontario to curl out of Edmonton, Alberta where they were joined by Albertan Rebecca Pattison. Walker played in her first WCT Grand Slam event at the 2012 Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic, where her team lost in the quarter-finals. At the second Grand Slam of the season, the Crocker rink repeated that success by finishing in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Manitoba Lotteries Women's Curling Classic. However at the next Slam, the 2012 Colonial Square Ladies Classic her team would miss out at the quarters, by losing in the round of 16. At the 2012 Masters Grand Slam of Curling, the rink went 0-5. The team qualified for the 2013 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Crocker's first provincial women's championship appearance. The team began the tournament with four straight victories, but lost both of their playoff games. To wrap up the season, the Crocker rink made it to the quarter finals of the 2013 Players' Championship. After the season, Wilkes became the team's alternate and was replaced by Erin Carmody at third.

To start the 2013-14 curling season, the Crocker team played in both the 2013 Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic and the 2013 Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Women's Classic, failing to make the playoffs in either event. Her team played in the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Pre-Trials, winning two games, but not qualifying for the Olympic Trials. Next, Walker played in the 2013 Winter Universiade with her Laurier University rink which included Wilkes, Gates and lead Cheryl Kreviazuk. She would lead the team to a 4-5 record, missing the playoffs. Walker finished the season by playing third for Valerie Sweeting at the 2014 Players' Championship, where they would miss the playoffs.

Effective as of March 11, 2014, the team announced that Chelsea Carey would take over as skip of the team. Walker would move to third and Gates would remain at lead. Wilkes has left the team. Taylor McDonald was recruited to play second for the team, while Carmody left the team. The team would win two tour titles that season, the HDF Insurance Shoot-Out and the Boundary Ford Curling Classic. The team played in three slams that season, making the playoffs in only the 2014 Canadian Open of Curling, where they lost in the quarterfinals. At the 2015 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the team would lose in the finals.

Following the 2014-15 season, Carey formed a new team, and was replaced by Kelsey Rocque as the team's skip. In their first season together, the Rocque rink won the Red Deer Curling Classic and the CCT Uiseong Masters on the tour. The team played in five slams, making it to the quarterfinals in four events. The team played in the 2016 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, but failed to make the playoffs. The team also played in the 2015 Canada Cup of Curling, but finished with a 2-4 record, missing the playoffs. The team had less success on the tour the next season. They would play in four slams, making it to the quarterfinals in just one event, the 2016 GSOC Tour Challenge. The team played in the 2016 Canada Cup of Curling, but once again missed the playoffs with a 2-4 record. In the 2017-18 curling season, the team would win the Curl Mesabi Classic and would play in three slams, making it to the quarter finals at just the 2018 Meridian Canadian Open. The team played in the 2017 Canadian Olympic Curling Pre-Trials, losing in the playoffs. Midway through the season, Walker took over skipping duties of the team, but remained throwing third stones. The team played with the new arrangement at the 2018 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, where they narrowly missed the playoffs. The next month it was announced that the team would be splitting up.[2] In their final event together, with Rocque off the team, the rink would lose in a tiebreaker at the 2018 Players' Championship with Walker skipping and Kendra Lilly brought in to play third.

For the 2018-19 season, Walker skipped a new team of Cathy Overton-Clapham, Lori Olson-Johns and Laine Peters. They played in four of seven Slams and were knocked out of the 2019 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts 9-2 by Jodi Marthaller. Outside of her team, Walker spared in two other Grand Slam events. She replaced Joanne Courtney on Team Homan at the Players' Championship partway threw the event and replaced Allison Flaxey at skip for her team at the 2019 Champions Cup, where they had a quarterfinal finish.

On March 15, 2019, it was announced that Walker was once again skipping a new team of Kate Cameron, Taylor McDonald and Nadine Scotland for the 2019–20 curling season. They did not qualify for the playoffs in their first two events, the 2019 Cargill Curling Training Centre Icebreaker and the Booster Juice Shoot-Out before winning the 2019 Mother Club Fall Curling Classic after posting a perfect 7-0 record.

Mixed doubles

In mixed doubles play, Walker usually plays with her husband Geoff Walker. At the 2016 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials the pair would make it all the way to the finals before losing to the Jocelyn Peterman / Brett Gallant duo. The pair played in the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Olympic Trials, where they made it to the playoffs, but were eliminated after winning two playoff games. With her husband playing in the 2018 World Men's Curling Championship, Walker had to find a new doubles partner in Kirk Muyres for the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. The pair found immediate success, winning the event, defeating Colton Lott and Kadriana Sahaidak in the final.[3] The pair represented Canada at the 2018 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, where they won a bronze medal. They also represented Canada in the first leg of the 2018 Curling World Cup in Suzhou, China,[4] which they would end up winning, defeating the United States (Korey Dropkin and Sarah Anderson) in the final.

Personal life

She is married to Geoff Walker of Team Gushue.[5] She is employed as a mortgage associate for Mortgage Design Group.[6]

Grand Slam record

Key
C Champion
F Lost in Final
SF Lost in Semifinal
QF Lost in Quarterfinals
R16 Lost in the round of 16
Q Did not advance to playoffs
T2 Played in Tier 2 event
DNP Did not participate in event
N/A Not a Grand Slam event that season
Event 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20
Masters Q DNP Q DNP Q DNP Q DNP
Tour Challenge N/A N/A N/A QF QF T2 QF T2
The National N/A N/A N/A QF Q Q DNP F***
Canadian Open N/A N/A QF Q Q QF QF
Players' QF Q DNP QF DNP Q Q*
Champions Cup N/A N/A N/A QF DNP DNP QF**

*Walker substituted for Joanne Courtney on Team Homan partway through the event.

**Walker spared for Allison Flaxey.

***Walker substituted for Dawn McEwen on Team Jones.

Former events

Event 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
Elite 10 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A QF
Autumn Gold QF Q Q N/A N/A N/A N/A
Colonial Square Q DNP DNP N/A N/A N/A N/A
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries QF Q N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

References

  1. "Scarborough teams in provincial playdowns". 8 January 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  2. "Team Rocque heading separate ways for next cycle". 2018-02-06.
  3. "Crocker/Muyres deny perfect bid on way to winning Canadian mixed doubles curling championship | National Post". 2018-04-02.
  4. "New-look Team Koe to fly flag for Canada in Suzhou | Curling World Cup". Curling World Cup. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  5. 2017 Brier Media Guide: Team Newfoundland and Labrador
  6. 2017 Home Hardware RTTR Media Guide
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