Jake Ronald Draper competes in the male 7.5-km sprint competition at the River Bend Golf and Recreation area during the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., on Feb. 17. Draper finished 10th in the event. (Sarah Lewis Photography/Team Yukon 2019)

Team Yukon athletes begin competition at Canada Winter Games

After four days of competition, Yukon athletes have a pair of top 10 finishes — both in biathlon

Competition at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., officially started on Feb. 16 and Team Yukon has had a busy couple of days to begin the competition.

Yukoners competing in artistic swimming, biathlon, freestyle skiing, gymnastics, hockey, speed skating and table tennis have already started their competitions, but other sports have yet to start competition including alpine skiing, archery, badminton, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, snowboarding and squash.

In short-track speed skating, Caius Shepherd Taggart-Cox skated in the male 500 metre qualifications on Feb. 17 where he finished fifth in his heat and Micah Taggart-Cox raced in another heat, finishing fourth. Both skaters are now slated to race in repechage heats on Feb. 20.

The pair also raced in the male 1,500 m qualifications on Feb. 17, when Caius and Micah finished sixth and fifth respectively in their heats.

In the repechage round on Feb. 18, Micah finished third in his heat while Caius was seventh. In the second round of repechage, Micah finished fourth and advanced to a repechage final where he finished first. Caius did not skate in the second round of repechage but finished third in a repechage final. Overall, Micah finished 24th and Caius finished 48th.

Solo female artistic swimming included two Yukoners — Ella Laliberty and Helene Maguire.

The preliminaries included a technical routine on Feb. 17 and a free routine on Feb. 19.

After the two routines, Laliberty sits in 18th position with a combined score of 107.178 and Maguire is close behind in 19th with a score of 100.4606.

Both swimmers are set to compete in finals on Feb. 21, with Laliberty in the ‘A’ flight and Maguire in the ‘B’ flight.

A total of five athletes — two females and three males — are competing for Team Yukon in biathlon.

In the female six-km sprint on Feb. 17, Emma Marnik was the top Yukoner in 33rd place with Amélie Latour finishing 39th.

On the male side, Jake Ronald Draper picked up the first Yukon top 10 finish when he placed 10th in the male 7.5-km sprint. Joining Draper at the finish were Romeo Champagne in 20th and Aidan Hupé in 25th.

In the female 7.5-km pursuit on Feb. 19, Marnik was 27th and Latour was 30th. Draper improved on his previous result in the male 10-km pursuit, finishing seventh, while Champagne was 23rd.

The individual and relay competitions are set for later in the week.

Max Logan competed for Team Yukon in the freestyle skiing male moguls competition on Feb. 18, initially placing 14th in qualifications and moving up to 13th in the second-chance qualifications. Overall, Logan placed 16th in the event.

Freestyle competition continues with slopestyle, big air and half pipe later this week.

The duo of Bianca Berko-Malvasio and Hailey Sherman both took part in the artistic gymnastics all-around female competition on Feb. 19, with Berko-Malvasio finished 29th and Sherman finishing 32nd.

Beam, floor, bars and vault individual competition are all scheduled for Feb. 21st.

It has been a busy start to table tennis, with Yukon athletes competing in doubles, singles and team competition already.

The pairing of Kass Dreyer and Ming Huang lost matches against Nunavut and the Northwest Territories on Feb. 17, as did the team of Seth Bennett and Jake Tucker. Benett and Tucker had rematches later in the day against both teams where they successfully took a game from Nunavut, losing 3-1.

In mixed doubles action, Krish and Raghvi Sharma lost to Nunavut in stage one play on Feb. 17, but regrouped to beat the Northwest Territories 3-2 on Feb. 19 before losing to Saskatchewan 3-0 and concluding by beating Nunavut 3-1.

Raghvi, Dreyer and Huang are all competing in female singles competition, where Raghvi was 1-1 after group play while Dreyer and Huang were both 0-2.

All three athletes lost in stage two, setting up places in the placement round.

As of 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 19, Raghvi has won her last two matches 3-2 and is set to play again as competition resumes on Feb. 20. Both Huang and Dreyer are winless.

In male singles competition, Krish, Bennett and Tucker are all winless through the first two stages and a portion of the placement round.

Rounding out table tennis was team competition.

Female athletes from Team Yukon opened with a 3-1 defeat against Nunavut with Raghvi securing Team Yukon’s lone win 3-1 in a singles match.

The team competed against the Northwest Territories in stage two of competition on Feb. 16, losing 3-1. Again, it was Raghvi with the lone Yukon win.

On the male side of team competition, Team Yukon opened 0-2 after group play and lost 3-0 to Nunavut and the Northwest Territories in stage two play.

Team Yukon’s male hockey started play in Pool C on Feb. 16th, dropping the opening game against Prince Edward Island 3-2. Goals for the Yukon came from alternate captain Kyron Crosby and captain Ashton Underhill.

In game two on Feb. 17th, Team Yukon lost 5-3 to Nunavut – marking the territory’s first appearance and win in male hockey competition at the games. Goals for the Yukoners came from Underhill, Crosby and Landon Marsh.

Team Yukon was back on the ice later that day, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Northwest Territories. Goals were scored by Sawyer Adams and Underhill.

In the final preliminary game against Newfoundland, Team Yukon lost 7-0 on Feb. 18.

Female hockey competition is set to start on Feb. 24, as is male and female squash.

On Feb. 25, alpine skiing, badminton, cross-country skiing, figure skating and snowboarding are all scheduled to start.

The last two sports to start – archery and judo – don’t begin competition until Feb. 26.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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