About 190 students took to the court in 340 matches at two locations in one day this week.
Twelve schools were represented at the Yukon Schools Athletic Association’s Grade 7 Badminton Tournament at Elijah Smith Elementary and Ecole Emilie-Tremblay on Wednesday. Among the dozen schools were two from the communities – Teslin School and Watson Lake’s Johnson Elementary.
“It’s not common,” said YSAA president Marc Senecal. “We haven’t had community schools come to the elementary championships in probably five years. So we’re quite stoked about that, to have them come back.”
Two schools tied for the most hardware. Holy Family Elementary won eight medals with two gold at the Elijah Smith venue while Whitehorse Elementary matched that at the Emilie-Tremblay site.
Out of all 10 gold medal matches, only one was between a pair of classmates. It made for a bitter-sweet victory for one player.
“(I feel) sad because I beat my friend,” said Kiarra Fitzsimmons. “It’s nice but also sad.”
The Whitehorse Elementary player defeated friend and classmate Emma Boyd 8-11, 11-10, 11-9 in the girls singles final at the Ecole Emilie-Tremblay (EET) venue.
Fitzsimmons went undefeated in the tournament, and her match against Boyd was her toughest, she said.
“Me and Emma are quite at the same level so it’s usually just a toss-up to see who wins,” said Fitzsimmons.
EET did pretty well on their home courts. The school scored five medals, including three gold.
Eric Potvin was one of the EET gold medal winners. He came back from a set down to top Whitehorse Elementary’s Derek Deuling 10-11, 11-9, 11-10 in the boys singles final.
Potvin’s only loss of the day came against Deuling in the round robin, but he changed his game plan in the final.
“I think I knew what to expect, how he served, how he played,” said Potvin. “I started aiming for the corners and less straight in front of me.”
Teslin School brought a small team of 10 players, but three left Elijah Smith with gold medals.
Teslin’s Savana Kremer cruised to gold through the girls singles draw.
“Happy,” said Kremer, when asked how she felt. “I’m surprised.”
Kremer captured gold with a 9-4, 9-1 win over Golden Horn Elementary’s Alliya Thomson in the final. She only lost one set all day, and that was to Thomson during the round robin.
You’d think she came to the tournament with plenty of experience.
“I played in the Grade 7 tournament in Grade 4, that’s it,” said Kremer.
Kremer’s classmates Harold Guinanao and Levi Stoneman won gold in boys doubles.
Holy Family’s Tony Kim now has two medals from the tournament. Kim won a silver as a Grade 6er last year and returned this week to win gold in boys singles at Elijah Smith.
“I’m feeling great,” said Kim, who gave a bunch of fist pumps throughout the final.
Kim, who went undefeated on Wednesday, took gold with a 9-4, 8-9, 9-7 win over Golden Horn’s Anton Menzel.
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