Close finals at squash season opener

It didn’t take long for competition to heat up on Whitehorse squash courts this season. Five divisions all ended in lengthy five-game matches at Squash Yukon’s Opening Tournament, which saw 38 players participate over the weekend at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

It didn’t take long for competition to heat up on Whitehorse squash courts this season.

Five divisions all ended in lengthy five-game matches at Squash Yukon’s Opening Tournament, which saw 38 players participate over the weekend at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

There was a lot on the line in the premier division final on Sunday, with both players vying for their first squash title.

In the end, No. 2 seed Chris Cullingham came back from two sets down to defeat Chic Callas 18-20, 9-15, 15-12, 15-12, 15-11 on Sunday.

“I think Chic just made more errors in the end than I did, which is not the best way to win, but it still feels good, I guess,” said Cullingham. “There was a bit of a turning-point in the third game – and the fourth game. I think Chic was getting tired; he was making more errors than he did in the first couple.”

“I don’t think anything necessarily went wrong, Chris played really well, came back and deserved to win,” said Callas. “He came back and won – it’s really as simple as that.”

The third game was clearly the turning point of the match. Cullingham allowed a 12-7 lead slip to 13-12, but managed to hold on.

[image2]

“I wanted to win that game, but I didn’t want to make a lot of errors,” said Callas. “So I’m trying to hit good shots and put him under pressure, and have him lose rather than me win. Even under pressure, he got them back and won.

“I’m 55 next Saturday and he’s 31 – that makes a difference.”

Callas, who was the consolation winner last year, knocked out the top-seeded Mark Tubman to reach the final while Cullingham defeated Grayson Peters, who went on to take third.

“They were all tough matches,” said Cullingham. “I played Chris (Toleman) and Grayson, and they were all tough matches. I was lucky enough to have a lot of space between matches, so I had resting time.”

It’s not difficult to spot the next generation of top Yukon players, with two winning the B and C division titles on Saturday.

Almost dropping a two-set lead, junior Kai Knorr, 16, defeated Coleman Newell 15-6, 17-15, 14-16, 17-19, 15-8 to win B.

“Coleman just started playing harder and I was running out of steam,” said Knorr. “I just gave it everything I had left in the last games. If I didn’t Coleman would have won.

“Coleman put me through hell. That was the toughest match I’ve played in a long time.”

Taking third was Danny Johnson, winning in five games over top-seed Michael Gelinas.

In the C final Ehsan Idrees, 14, came back from down 2-1 in games to defeat Mike Bernier 15-12, 12-15, 7-15, 15-10, 15-12.

“I was pretty happy with myself,” said the junior. “Just placement – make him run a lot. In the second game he was pretty tired, so I made him run some more and made him more tired.”

David Buckler snagged third with a four-game win over Adam Humphrey.

In the most back-and-forth final, Share Knorr and Joanne Heyes traded sets, with the former winning 15-7, 8-15, 15-11, 11-15, 15-6 in the D division final on Saturday.

“I felt, if I don’t dig deep and take it early, I’m running out of steam – I haven’t been playing for at least a year,” said Share. “We’re both really tired. It’s amazing how much cardio you don’t have until you get out there.

“It was point for point until one of us pulled ahead to take the game.”

In the match for third, Jeremy Locke downed Connor Morgan in five games.

The Opening Tournament saw only one title defended from last year.

Alysha Gullison maintained ownership of her junior title win a 12-15, 15-13, 17-15, 5-15, 16-14 over Sana Syed in the junior division final on Saturday.

“I’ve won it a couple times, but that was a really hard one to win, because she hit the ball really hard and I had to run for it,” said Gullison, 12. “In the fourth (game) I was distracted because I hit my leg with my racquet. It sort of hurt.”

Jarod McCulloch took third in the junior division with a win over Anna Janowicz.

The tournament’s consolation winners include: Mustafa Syed (premier), Jarrod Chinnick (B division), Mark Beese (C division), Genevieve Camire (D division) and Cole McCulloch (junior division).

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read