The Empire Strikes Backhands: squash players turn out for Star Wars tourney

Very recently, in a gym not far, far away… Squash Wars: The Boast Awakens squash tournament took place at Better Bodies Whitehorse, Jan. 20-22.

Very recently, in a gym not far, far away…

Squash Wars: The Boast Awakens squash tournament took place at Better Bodies Whitehorse, Jan. 20-22.

The term “boast” refers to a shot that hits a side wall before the front wall. The tourney used to be Squash Yukon’s New Year tournament, but was rebranded last year with a nerdy name.

“I thought it would be fun to give it a theme. It’s nerdy but it’s topical because the movies are back in,” said Squash Yukon vice president Dylan Letang, who sports a Yoda tattoo on his arm.

“We had a good turnout this year and a lot of folks had a lot of fun, so it worked out really well.”

Thirty-eight players took part in the Star Wars-themed event now in its second year — Episode II, if you will.

Top seed Grayson Peters defeated fourth seed Jonathan Hawkins in the final of the mixed A division. Peters won all three of his matches without dropping a game.

Did he use the force?

“I felt it this time around,” joked the 31-year-old.

“It feels pretty good. I actually haven’t won a tournament in forever, so it was the right one to enter,” he added. “The competition was good. It feels good to get a win under the belt.”

Michael Tilbrook took third in mixed A with a win over Squash Yukon president Stephen Buckler.

There was no Luke or Leia, or everybody’s favourite Jar Jar, but there were some epic battles.

Junior player Ava Cairns-Locke defeated Gary Tanner in five games to win the mixed B division.

In the fifth game Carins-Locke, 16, fought back from down 6-0 and then 14-10, dispatching four match points for Tanner, before winning 18-16.

“I was trying hard not to freak out, but I just calmed down,” said Cairns-Locke. “I was trying to hit it where he wasn’t; I was trying to run him around basically. It worked out good.

“He was tired and I kind of took advantage that he was tired.”

Cairns-Locke, who represented Yukon in squash at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, also teamed up with Buckler to win the dingles titles — doubles squash played on a singles court.

Daniel Reti topped John Williams in three straight games for third.

Erika Joubert beat Karen Larkin in three games to top the women’s C division while Brenna McPhail outplayed Heather Fearon for third.

Ivan Johnson won the men’s C division with a win over Miles Hume. Oshea Jephson picked up a third place finish with a win over Jim McGeragle.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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