Three Yukon squash titles left the territory on a flight to Vancouver on Sunday.
Nine B.C. players, some of whom are high-ranked, came up for the Squash Yukon Open, and three were successful in their quest for titles at Better Bodies Whitehorse on Saturday.
The three titles, of the eight in the tournament (counting consolation titles), were the open men’s singles, open women’s singles and the men’s 50-plus title. Two of those came down to a Yukoner versus a B.C. player.
Victoria’s Kevin Smith snagged the men’s title in a four-game win over three-time Yukon champ Julien Revel.
Revel, who was playing in his first tournament of the year, was hampered by cramping in his legs.
“I didn’t drink enough water and was cramping up – not enough electrolytes,” said Revel.
“(The match) had good rallies and I tried to do the best I could. It went to four (games), so it was a pretty good match.”
It was Smith’s second tournament win of the season. The 53rd ranked men’s player in B.C. won the A division at the Costal Contacts Open this past January in Victoria.
“I’m really happy about it,” said Smith. “I think it would have been a different result if Julien wasn’t injured – he injured himself at some point. He’s a pretty quick guy and that took away a lot of his speed, so I was able to take advantage of that. He’s a great player, so I’m happy I squeaked that out.”
It was Smith’s second attempt at the title. He lost in the semifinal at the 2010 Open.
“(Revel) beat the guy that beat me in the semifinal,” said Smith. “So I’m happy because I know he’s a fantastic player.”
North Vancouver’s Tim Martin took third in the men’s draw.
Surrey, B.C.‘s Michele Garceau, 16, who is currently ranked 27th in B.C. for women and third for girls under 17, captured the women’s title in a close five-game win over Vancouver’s Nicola Martin, ranked 24 in B.C. for women.
“I didn’t expect to beat these players because they’re ranked above me, so I’m pretty happy,” said Garceau.
Garceau came within points of losing the match after dropping a two-game lead following a foot injury in the second game.
“My foot started to hurt and I don’t know what it was, if it was a cramp or pulled something,” said Garceau. “I managed to pull through. But obviously it was pretty close.
“It did hurt, but I guess when you’re in the moment with an adrenaline rush, you don’t feel it as much. I felt it a lot more when the match was done.”
The top Yukon finisher in open women was Whitehorse’s Lori Muir in fourth. The former Yukon women’s champ finished fourth with a loss to Vancouver’s Laura Ramsay, a seven-time national champion in the women’s over-60 division.
In the men’s 50-plus division, Victoria’s Gerry Poulton, who last year held a world ranking of No. 5 for men’s over-65, went undefeated in the round-robin to win. He sealed the deal with a 3-1 victory over second-place’s Chris Toleman from Whitehorse.
Whitehorse’s Ethan Davy, 10, took two out of three matches to win the novice/junior division. In second was Alexis Benson ahead of third’s Sarah Cardinal, the only player to take a match off Davy.
“It feels good,” said Davy, who took up the sport just this season. “It was pretty hard. All of them were close matches, so it was good.”
Whitehorse’s Ehsan Idrees secured three wins and one loss to capture the men’s B division. Kai Knorr claimed second and Stephen Buckler third.
In the mixed C/D division, Better Bodies player Connor Morgan went undefeated for the title. Shermaine Chua placed second, ahead of Genevieve Camire in third.
As for the consolation titles, Whitehorse’s Dean Henderson won the men’s with a straight-game win over Stephen Grundmanis in the final.
Whitehorse’s Emilie Herdes defeated fellow Yukoner Patti Flather 3-0 in the women’s consolation final.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org