Players get the rust out at squash season opener

Squash players Julien Revel and Blaine Tessier both had a fruitful off-season.

Squash players Julien Revel and Blaine Tessier both had a fruitful off-season.

Revel won the expert class at the Sima Slamfest downhill mountain bike race and Tessier regained his Yukon Golf Championships men’s title, almost setting a new course record in the process.

However, it was back to the hardwood for both of them at the season opening Get the Rust Out Tournament held at Better Bodies Crosstraining Centre, Thursday through Saturday.

In the tourney’s top-level, Division 1, Revel, who has been the Yukon’s men’s champion the last three seasons, defeated Tessier 15-12, 15-12, 14-16, 15-12 for the top spot.

“Blaine is playing really well this year and I think he’s going to be challenge – he is a challenge because he has such great skill and he’s in better shape than last year,” said Revel. “Blaine is a really dangerous player for me.

“I was probably more patient than in the (rest of the) tournament, and maybe I was a bit fitter than him. I made less mistakes and was able to stay a few points ahead of him.

“Back in the day he was (beating me), but he hasn’t in a long time – it’s been a few years.”

Sam Penner took Division 1’s third place title in front of Troy Cairns through default.

At last season’s Canadian Squash Championships, Revel, the only Yukoner to compete, made the quarterfinals in the men’s A division, defeating the No. 4 seed along the way.

For the Division 2 title, Lori Muir took down Jim Gilpin 15-10, 7-15, 15-12, 15-12, while Lia Johnson ended in the No. 3 spot with a 15-12, 15-13, 15-11 win over Terri Cairns, the women’s Yukon champion last season.

“Jim and I can go either way, so it was quite a battle,” said Muir. “The first game I came out strong, did what I thought I was going to do: I put it in the back corner.

“In the second game the wheels fell off and I kind of lost my focus. He took that game – it was just a battle until the end.”

“She might have a 15- or 20-year advantage on me,” said Gilpin with a laugh. “She didn’t know, but I did come in somewhat injured. But I offered her the chance to play tomorrow because she had a couple very grueling matches and I had matches that went 3-0.

“Lori didn’t want to take me up on that offer – I hadn’t really given her the back-story behind the offer.”

It was junior versus junior in the Division 3 final, with Stephen Grundmanis taking a commanding 15-10, 15-10, 15-1 win over Kal Knorr. In one of just two five-game matches in the finishing rounds, Emilie Herdes grabbed third over Shahid Syed by the score of 14-16, 10-15, 15-9, 15-14, 16-14.

The other five-game match came in the Division 4 final with Brett Hannigan taking out junior Mustafa Syed 15-17, 12-15, 15-13, 15-13, 15-10. Tara Grandy took third by default.

In they junior/novice divisions, Logan Harris beat out Anna Lee Jacobsen by the score of 15-8, 15-10, 15-8 for the Division 5 title. Graydon McDonnell snatched third from Kelly Panchyshyn with a 15-12, 15-12, 15-11 win.

For the Division 6 title, Ehsan Idrees defeated Shermaine Chua 15-8, 13-15, 15-8, 15-10, while Dusty Knorr overcame Meagan Gaudet by 15-13, 15-13, 15-9 for third.

In the novice juniors class, Alysha Gullison went undefeated for first and Issac Pumphrey finished second with a 3-1 record.

Contact Tom Patrick at