Julien Revel has good timing on and off the court. Not only did he arrive back in Whitehorse for the spring thaw, he arrived back for the Squash Thaw Tournament.
Revel joined 64 other players this past weekend at Better Bodies in Whitehorse, winning the tough men’s open division.
With some players here from Victoria and teaching pro Al Cook visiting from Yellowknife, not everyone was expecting an all-Whitehorse final.
But Revel seemed to like the challenge.
“I had some really good games and I’m glad we beat the people from outside (Whitehorse),” he said.
As last year’s champion, Revel defended his title by defeating Cameron Webber in the finals, 15-12, 10-15, 16-14, 15-11.
Revel recently moved back to Whitehorse from Ottawa, Ontario, where he was ranked 12th in the region. His highest rank was 10th.
While here, he plans to raise the level of the sport by coaching.
“Hopefully next year I will be able to increase squash (participation) in Whitehorse,” he said.
If nothing else, his physical fitness could inspire younger players. Revel ended the tournament with a pair of grueling matches.
His fitness helped him win, said his opponents.
“That was a tough match,” said Webber. “My fitness was not up to snuff compared to his. He hits the ball really hard and that’s not really my strength and I had way too many unforced errors. All my drops were hitting the tin.”
Revel advanced to the finals with a 15-9, 15-9, 10-15, 15-11 win over second-seeded Cook.
“He’s in better shape than I am,” said Cook. “It’s nice to play that level of squash. We don’t have it in Yellowknife.”
Webber also had a rough road to the finals, defeating the tournament’s top seed, Kevin Smith, of Victoria, BC, in four games.
“We’re both not used to the courts, so I think we’re both not comfortable with our games out there,” said Cook, speaking on behalf of all out-of-town players.
In the fight for third, Cook dropped Smith in four sets, 15-9, 16-14, 10-15, 15-11. According to Revel, Cook’s 190-centimetre frame makes it difficult to read his shots because he can be hard to see around.
“I don’t (hide my shots) on purpose,” said Cook. “I’m a big guy and I hit the ball in front of me, not necessarily at the side of me—I guess people just don’t see it. It’s something I’ve never worked on.”
Cook’s club in Yellowknife will soon be hosting a similar event that will be attended by a handful of Yukon players.
Better Bodies will be hosting a junior championship May 22-23.
Men “Open” Division
1st Place – Julien Revel
2nd Place – Cameron Webber
(15-12, 10-15, 16-14, 15-11)
3rd Place – Al Cook(Yellowknife)
4th Place – Kevin Smith (Victoria)
(15-9, 16-14, 10-15, 15-11)
Consolation: Steve Fecteau def.
Alex Achten (Victoria)
(15-11,15-13, 9-15, 7-15, 15-11)
Open “B” Division
1st Place – Chris Toleman
2nd Place – Lars Johansson
(15-8, 15-11, 15-8)
3rd Place – Kenji Tatsumi
4th Place – LorI Muir
(15-13, 11-15, 15-5, 15-13)
Jim Gilpin def.
(13-15, 15-13,15-13, 15-7)
Open “C” Division
1st Place – Michael Tilbrook
2nd Place – Stephen Grundmanis
(14-16, 15-10, 15-9, 15-2)
3rd Place – Danny Johnson
4th Place – Stephen Buckler
(15-13, 2-15, 13-15, 19-17,15-12)
Kai Knorr def.
Men’s “D” Division
1st Place – Leonard Linklater
2nd Place – Shahid Syed
(15-10,8-15, 5-15, 17-15, 15-2)
3rd Place – Andrew Zinck
4th Place – Idrees
(15-9, 15-9,15-17, 15-4)
Consolation: Sam Bamford def.
(18-16, 15-2, 8-15, 16-14)
Women’s “D” Division
1st Place – Amy Leach
2nd Place – Alcina Banks
3rd Place – Pam Zinck
4th Place Megan Freese
Junior “Open” Division
1st Place – Coleman Newell
2nd Place – Logan Harris
(15-13, 15-5, 11-15, 15-13)
3rd Place – Will Parker
4th Place – Graydon McDonnell
(15-5, 15-12, 15-10)
Consolation: Joel Brennan def.
(15-4, 16-18,15-8, 15-17, 15-12)
Contact Tom Patrick at