Vancouverite pockets squash title in weekend excursion

Yukon's top squash title has left the territory. In a weekend trip to the capital, Vancouver's Pierce Masuhara won the open division at the Yukon Open squash championship on Saturday at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

Yukon’s top squash title has left the territory.

In a weekend trip to the capital, Vancouver’s Pierce Masuhara won the open division at the Yukon Open squash championship on Saturday at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

“It was a really great tournament, I had a great time, and the final was really fun. It was just a fantastic weekend,” said Masuhara.

“It’s a really different atmosphere, especially coming from juniors where it’s very competitive at times and you go in with a very intensive mindset. At this tournament everyone is really inclusive and just opened up their arms to me and welcomed me into the Yukon squash family. It was just a really nice atmosphere to be a part of for the weekend.”

For years Masuhara has been hearing about the Yukon championship from his friend Stephen Grundmanis of Whitehorse, but this past weekend was the first time he could make it.

Masuhara plays for the varsity team at Western University in London, Ont., which won the Ontario University Athletics squash championship a 33rd year in a row and the NCAA Division 4 title this past season.

The 20-year-old took the Yukon crown with an 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 11-1 win over two-time champ Cameron Webber of Whitehorse in the final.

“It kind of went the way I expected. I watched Pierce play his other two matches and he looked well equipped to take a win in the tournament,” said Webber, 34, Squash Yukon’s head coach. “I got a game off him. It was kind of some luck and some lapses on his part in the second game – that was the only reason I was able to squeak one out. He has youth and fitness and a heck of a lot of skill on his side.”

Masuhara began his run with a win over Whitehorse’s Jane Bell, the only woman players in the open division, before he topped Grundmanis in the semifinal.

Grundmanis went on to take third with an 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 win over fourth place’s Grayson Peters.

For the first time since 2013, the championship offered an all-women category. Arielle Meynen won the women’s novice division, added this year to help develop female participation, with three wins and a loss in round robin play. Brenna MacPhail took second place.

“The idea came from (Squash Yukon league and tournament organizer) Marie Desmarais, who has been running two-day women’s clinics for beginners and intermediate players on weekends,” said Squash Yukon president Stephen Buckler. “Squash Yukon has identified that we need more female participants. I believe the clinics and women-only divisions provide the support and opportunity to develop our women squash players. Once we get new players onto the court, the game tends to sell itself.”

Nicholas Terry picked up the mixed A division title with a 15-13, 15-7, 14-16, 15-13 win over Michael Tilbrook in the final. Kevin Daffe, who lost to Terry in the semifinal, came third with a win over Doug Thorseth.

Drew Osborne downed Benjamin Grundmanis in three games to win the mixed B division. Matt Brown came third with a win over Alex Jobin.

Cathy MacDonald went undefeated in four round-robin matches to finish at the top of the mixed C division while Brian Larnder took second.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read