Comeback kid Syed wins Darkest Night tourney

Whitehorse junior Mustafa Syed starts slow but finishes strong. At least that was the case at the Darkest Night Squash Tournament on Saturday at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

Whitehorse junior Mustafa Syed starts slow but finishes strong.

At least that was the case at the Darkest Night Squash Tournament on Saturday at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

The 17-year-old kept fighting back from trailing situations in the open A division final to win his third tournament of the season.

“Every tournament I go to that happens,” said Syed. “(Squash Yukon head coach) Khoon (Chua) is like, ‘You have to start strong in the beginning.’”

Syed won the open division with a 15-13, 14-16, 16-14, 16-14 win over Grayson Peters in the final.

Syed dropped the first five points of the match and was down 9-4 before winning the first game. He was also down 11-2 in the fourth set and then 14-9 before winning seven straight points for the match.

“As far as I could tell, we were both playing pretty well – I can’t blame it on anything,” said Peters. “My body wasn’t able to keep up, I guess. I don’t play enough to be in the best of shape.”

“In the beginning he was really fast, but by the end he was slowing down,” said Syed, of his 29-year-old opponent. “I just kept it in (play).”

Syed captained the winning team at the Reservoir Dogs Squash Tournament in November and won the Early Bird Squash Tournament in October. He also produced two wins and two losses at the 2014 Canadian Junior

Squash Championships last April.

He is one of seven Yukon players who will compete at the Canada Winter Games next month in Prince George, B.C. It will be Syed’s second Canada Games, having played for Yukon at the 2011 Games in Halifax.
“The first one was a good experience, but I was like 12 playing against the best in Canada,” said Syed. “I’m excited. Canada Games is always fun. I know there’s going to be a lot of good people. I’ve beaten some of them.”

Canada Games teammate Logan Harris took third on Saturday with a 3-1 win Dylan Letang. Lars Johansson won the consolation with a 3-2 win over Michael Tilbrook.

Glenn Rudman won the B division in a 3-2 victory over Emilie Herdes in the final. Jim Gilpin won three straight games to down Lori Muir in the battle for third. Ben Grundmanis, who is an alternate for the Canada Games team, topped the consolation with a 3-2 win over Jason Steele.

Coleman Newell went 3-2 over Mustafa’s sister and Sana Syed to win the C division. Sana, and third place’s Ava Cairns, are set to represent Yukon on the squash courts next month in Prince George.

Everett Igobwa captured the D division title with a 3-1 win over Canada Games team member Mackenzie Cameron. Muhammad Javed placed third.

Ivan Johnson, a Canada Games alternate, went undefeated in four matches in the junior division round robin for first place. Jake Charlton finished in second place and Kayden King in third.

Ehsan Idrees and Katrina Dobush are also on Yukon’s squash team bound for Prince George.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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