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M. Zacharias taking "step back" from Team Jones next season

Mackenzie Zacharias Mackenzie Zacharias - The Canadian Press

Mackenzie Zacharias, the 23-year-old who skipped Canada to the gold-medal at the 2020 World Junior Curling Championship, has announced she will be taking a "step back" from Team Jennifer Jones next season. 

Team Jones announced she is taking time to focus "on her career and other passions in her life," in a press release on Sunday night. 

"Mackenzie has played an integral role in our team's accomplishments this season as we achieved many goals," the release said. "Whether it's within the world of curling or beyond, we know she has a very bright future ahead." 

The Winnipeg native will finish off the 2022-23 season with Team Jones at this week's Players' Championship in Toronto and next month's Champions Cup in Regina. 

Zacharias played second for the new-look Team Jones this past season as the Manitoba rink found plenty of success in their first campaign with the six-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion. 

Team Jones - featuring Jennifer at skip, Karlee Burgess at third, Zacharias at second and leads Emily Zacharias and Lauren Lenentine - are currently ranked third on CTRS. They own a 63-29 record in 2022-23 with wins at the Saville Shoot-Out, PointsBet Invitational and Manitoba Scotties. Team Jones made an impressive run at the Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops, B.C., posting a 10-1 record before losing to Team Kerri Einarson in the gold-medal game, 10-4. 

"Jennifer, Karlee, Emily, Lauren and Coach Glenn support her decision and truly thank Mackenzie for her hard work. We look forward to finishing off the season together," the release said.