It was a long day for the players and the shuttlecocks.
Split between Elijah Smith and Takhini Elementary schools, more than 200 matches took place Wednesday to find the best elementary badminton players in Whitehorse.
Capturing the boys’ single title at Elijah Smith was Hidden Valley’s Peter Joe Jensen. He defeated classmate and friend Aiden Uiterwaal, 15-10, 15-13, for the title.
“He was in the other pool, but I play him lots at school,” said Jensen. “I was worried about a few people that were going to be in this tournament that were in the Yukon Open (last year), but it turns out they didn’t show.
“It’s really good because everyone thought I was coming as one of the favorites. The first year I got fourth in the Yukon Championships, so this actually felt a lot better. This is my first medal without a team.”
Uiterwaal came out hot, taking a 3-0 lead. However, Jensen turned the tables, attacking his opponent’s weakness.
“I had a really bad start—I was falling everywhere,” said Jensen. “I knew where to hit it on him: his backhand.”
Jensen also tended to milk the corners, which he finds ironic considering the gym he practises in.
“It’s kind of funny that my game was in the corners because, at my school, we have a really small gym and we have to hit it right at each other so (the birdie) doesn’t go out of the court,” he said. “So it’s actually really hard for Hidden Valley (players) to hit it to the sides.”
Despite coming off the big win, Jensen has opted to skip this weekend’s Yukon Championships.
“The entry fee is a lot and it would take away a lot of my weekend,” said Jensen.
In the semifinals, Jensen defeated Jono Runions from Christ the King 15-14, 15-11. Runions went on to take third.
“The semifinals was my hardest game,” said Jensen. “The game was harder because Runions was from a different pool and I had never faced him before.”
In the girls’ singles draw at Elijah Smith it was another match-up of schoolmates in the finals. After a postponement to the following day because of a scheduling conflict, Camille Galloway of Ecole Emilie Tremblay defeated Charlotte Rentmeister, 15-12, 15-10.
“It was kind of hard because it was somebody from my school and we’re good friends,” said Galloway. “It was hard to be competitive against her.”
Like Jensen, Galloway is skipping this weekend’s open.
“I wanted to play doubles with Charlotte, but she couldn’t do it and I didn’t want to play singles,” said Galloway.
Last year, Galloway played doubles in the elementary tournament, taking fourth.
“I thought singles are more up to you, so you can’t get frustrated with your partner,” she said.
“I wasn’t expecting to get last, but I didn’t know I was going to win.”
Galloway advanced to the finals with a straight-set win over Shara Kearney from Christ the King Elementary.
“Over the last couple of years the level of play has increased for these kids,” said tournament organizer Lisa Harvey. “The kids enjoy it. They ref their own games and are very independent—there’s very good sportsmanship.”
Takhini Elementary results
Gold – Benjamin Grundmanis (WES)
Silver – Josh Ford (Holy Family)
Bronze – Kyle Wallace (Golden Horn)
Gold – Sara Burke-Forsyth (WES)
Silver – Kendra Cardinal (Golden Horn)
Bronze – Galena Roots (WES)
Gold – Andrew Hunter, Noah Kitchen (Holy Family)
Silver – Kieran Halliday, Kevin McLachlan (WES)
Bronze – Tristan Sparks, Roan Evans-Ehricht (WES)
Gold – Chanel Newell, Darlene Lauveano (Holy Family)
Silver – Savannah Goodman, Daria Jordan (Jack Hulland)
Bronze – Alex Schultz, Robyn Clements (Takhini)
Gold – Tamara Greek, Andrew Scoffin (Jack Hulland)
Silver – Amaya Cherian-Hall, Kanoa Jones (WES)
Bronze – Chase Hobbis, Linsey Eby (Jack Hulland)
Elijah Smith results
Gold – Peter Joe Jensen (Hidden Valley)
Silver – Aidan Uiterwaal (Hidden Valley)
Bronze – Jono Runions (CKES)
Gold – Camille Galloway (EET)
Silver – Charlotte Rentmeister (EET)
Bronze – Anja Reti (Selkirk)
Gold – Trent Pumphrey, Jarrett Malchow (CKES)
Silver – Tyson Schaber, Clayton Mervyn (Hidden Valley)
Bronze – Ryan Chippett, Dylan Reed (EET)
Gold – Tia Oster, Emily Hume (Hidden Valley)
Silver – Willamina Robert, Shanice Reti (Selkirk)
Bronze – Michaela Atkinson, Taylor Campbell (Elijah Smith)
Gold – Teah Dickson, Dominic Korn (Hidden Valley)
Silver – Etienne Geoffrey, Natasha Spencer (EET)
Bronze – Emile St. Pierre, Carolyn Miller (EET)
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