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

Just Posted

Northwestel says it is investigating into the cause of the total communications blackout throughout the territory after a power failure in Whitehorse on Wednesday night.
Internet outage prompts criticism on Dempster fibre project delays

The Liberals responded that they have proceeded cautiously to avoid high costs.

A motorcycle with driver pulled over on the right side of the North Klondike Highway whose speed was locked in at 171 kilometres per hour. (Courtesy/Yukon RCMP)
Patrols of Yukon highways find poorly-secured loads, intoxicated drivers

The ongoing patrols which police call ‘Operation Cooridor’ is mainly focused on commercial vehicles.

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

More than 25,000 people have received the firsdt dose of the vaccine, according to the Yukon government. (Black Press file)
Yukon has now vaccinated 76 per cent of eligible adults

The territory has surpassed its goal of 75 per cent as a first step toward ‘herd immunity’

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Most Read