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Team Yukon wins its first medal at 2019 Canada Winter Games

Cross-country skier Natalie Hynes won bronze in the women’s 10-km classic mass-start
Natalie Hynes, pictured here during competition earlier in the games, won the Yukon’s first medal of the 2019 Canada Winter Games on Feb. 28 in the 10-km classic mass-start female race. (Stephen Anderson-Lindsay/Team Yukon 2019)

Team Yukon has its first medal of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., thanks to the efforts of cross-country skier Natalie Hynes.

Hynes won bronze in the female 10-km classic mass-start race on Feb. 28.

British Columbia’s Jasmine Drolet won the race with a time of 29 minutes and 31.7 seconds, followed by Quebec’s Laura Leclair in 29 minutes and 48.5 seconds and Hynes in 29 minutes and 59.3 seconds.

“It’s definitely a very exciting feeling, especially with it being the first Yukon medal at the games,” said Hynes. “It was really a team effort. … We have one now.”

Hynes said that skiing for the University of Alaska Anchorage keeps her very busy, but that she always enjoys skiing for Team Yukon.

“I was excited to come,” said Hynes. “I don’t often get to represent the Yukon now that I’m at school, so it is always an exciting experience. … I’m always so proud to represent the Yukon.”

Amanda Thomson was the next Yukoner to finish, crossing the line in 10th place. Other Yukon finishes included Hannah Deuling in 21st, Sonjaa Schmidt in 23rd and Hannah Jirousek in 24th.

In the male 15-km classic mass-start, Derek Deuling was the top Yukoner after finishing ninth.

Rounding out the Yukon finishes were Marcus Deuling in 25th, Sasha Masson in 26th, Jamie Phillips-Freedman in 32nd and Ben Puskas in 33rd.

In male team squash competition, the Yukon wrapped up pool play with a 4-0 loss to Saskatchewan on Feb. 27, running Team Yukon’s record to 0-5 overall.

Team Yukon’s next match was against the Northwest Territories in crossover play, a 4-0 loss on Feb. 28. Ivan Johnson had the best results for the Yukon, winning a game and forcing a fourth game.

Snowboarding competition switched to slopestyle on Feb. 28 for both male and female competition.

In female slopestyle, Riley Boland missed qualifying for finals after finishing in 14th overall.

Gold went to Alberta’s Kianah Hyatt-Sikora with silver for Juliette France Pelchat of B.C. and silver for Alberta’s Kamilla Kozuback.

Two male snowboarders also competed for the Yukon. Sammy “Slammy” Mather finished fifth in qualifying while Ben Machtans finished 16th.

In the finals, Mather finished seventh overall.

Gold went to Finn Finestone of B.C., silver went to Ontario’s Will Buffey and bronze went to B.C.’s Jadyn Chomlack.

Individual judo competition was on Feb. 27 for three of Team Yukon’s judoka.

In the 57 kilogram female category, Cassie Jensen was seeded into the quarter-finals before losing to Ontario’s Alyssandra Phoebe Manuel.

Jensen then moved into the repechage, losing to Saskatchewan’s Kelley Mills and finishing ninth overall.

Rowen Kingston competed in the 81 kg male category, losing his preliminary round matchup and his repechage match. Kingston finished tied for ninth.

Rounding out the day’s individual competition was Jadon Zayith Leenders in the 81+ kg male category.

Leenders lost to Quebec’s Martin Penchev in the preliminaries and then to Ontario’s Ijob Hamraev in the repechage.

Overall, Leenders finished tied for seventh.

The Yukon’s female hockey team was on the ice on Feb. 28 for a placement round game against Prince Edward Island, losing 9-0.

Goaltender Wynne Anderson-Lindsay made 44 stops for Team Yukon in defeat.

Figure skating’s pre-novice female singles competition concluded on Feb. 27 as skaters completed their free programs.

Alissa Russell had a 30.93 in her free program, leading to a 48.17 overall, Jamie Nickel’s 29.24 in her free program gave her a 43.67 overall.

Russell and Nickel finished 18th and 20th overall.

Mike Sumner, competing in the Special Olympics level three male singles category, finished third after the free program on Feb. 27.

Focus shifted on Feb. 28 to the novce female singles competition, where Mikayla Kramer earned a 58.64 in her free program.

Kramer finished with a 94.55, good for seventh overall.

Mixed team competiton started on Feb. 28 for the Yukon’s badminton players.

The Yukoners lost matches against Saskatchewan, Nunavut and Prince Edward Island. The team is back in competition on March 1 for a relegation match against the Northwest Territories.

The Yukon’s Sofija Jewell scored a 556 in the second round of archery qualifying on Feb. 27 in the individual compound female category.

Her total score of 1,125 put her seventh and set up a preliminary match against New Brunswick’s Emily Gorman on Feb. 28, which Jewell won 140-139.

In the quarter-finals, Jewell lost 146-142 to Ontario’s Bryanne Lameg.

Vincent Menard had similar results in the male compound category, winning his preliminary match 140-135 before losing in the quarter-final, 144-139.

Qualification for the team compound competition finished on Feb. 27, with Team Yukon qualifying in seventh and setting up a quarter-final match against Alberta on March 1.

After qualifying in ninth, Emma Tom Tom lost her preliminary round match against Ontario’s Cleo Wermann-Thorn in the individual recurve female category on Feb. 28.

In the male recurve category, Wyatt Kapaniuk qualified eighth but lost a preliminary round match against Prince Edward Island’s Spencer Freeze on Feb. 28.

The Yukon finished qualifications for the team recurve category on Feb. 27 in ninth place, narrowly missing out on the next round.

Alpine skiing continued with slalom competition on Feb. 27.

Quebec’s Marie-Pier Brunet won gold in female competition with a combined time of one minute and 34.51 seconds, with Alberta’s Cydnie Timmermann second and Quebec’s Laura Beauvais third.

The Yukon’s Greta Gladwin finished 23rd with a time of two minutes and 11.38 seconds.

In male competition, Heming Sola of B.C. won gold, followed by Ryley Fergusson of Alberta in second and Ontario’s Aleksas Valadka in third.

The only Yukoner who finished the event was Clayton Michael Chapman who finished 25th overall.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at