The accomplishments of Yukon athletes over the past 12 months could fill this paper and perhaps another edition, too.
Though some months are slower than others, seemingly not a week went by without a Yukon athlete or team excelling locally, nationally or internationally.
The following is a review of Yukon’s sports scene in 2012.
This year the Yukon saw Watson Lake cyclist Zach Bell race at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club take second place at the Haywood Nationals for its best-ever finish at the Canadian championship, and Whitehorse host the 2012 Arctic Winter Games and the ISF Women’s World Fastpitch Championship.
Whitehorse high school senior basketball teams joined forces at the Don Hather Basketball Tournament in Skagway, Alaska. The tournament pits Canada against the U.S., with every game a match-up between Alaskan and Whitehorse teams.
For the third straight year Canada came out the victor on the boys’ side of the tournament. The Vanier Crusaders and the Porter Creek Rams boys teams both went undefeated to down the Americans six games to three. It went down to the final game on the girls’ side of the tournament, but the Skagway Panthers defeated the F.H. Collins Warriors 48-21 to give the Americans the title.
It didn’t take long for Whitehorse snowboarder Max Melvin-McNutt to show his worth to the B.C. Provincial Freestyle Team. In what was his first competition with the team, Melvin-McNutt finished second out of 68 athletes – first for the men 15-18 age category – at the BCSA Provincial Slopestyle event at Big White. Melvin-McNutt is the first Yukoner ever selected for the team.
A pair of records fell at the 18th annual Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race early in the year. Competing in the 10-mile dogsled race, musher Dave Johnson broke his own course record from 2006. Stefan Wackerhagen improved on the record time he set the previous year, shaving almost six minutes off his 2011 time.
Canada won a bronze medal in curling at the Winter Youth Olympic Games thanks in part to some Whitehorse talent. Skip Thomas Scoffin led his mixed team to a third place finish with a 6-4 win over Sweden in Innsbruck, Austria.
Whitehorse’s Bantam A Mustangs rep team went undefeated to win gold at the Summerland Bantam Rep Winter Classic, a Tier 3 tournament in Summerland, B.C. The Mustangs cruised to victory with a 5-0 win over the Penticton Vees in the finals with Levi Johnson, Kole Comin, Alex Hanson, Karter Kazakoff and captain Dylan McQuaig scoring. Goalie Josh Tetlichi got the win in the final.
Whitehorse’s Jarrid Davy hurtled down the Haines Highway at near-record speeds at the Alcan 200 International Snow Machine Road Rally. Davy won his second straight title in the 651cc-open class, one of four divisions won by Yukoners this year. Haines Junction’s Ken Schamber, Whitehorse’s Mario Poulin and Whitehorse’s Trent Derkatch also won titles.
Competing in his first event of the season, Whitehorse snowboarder Alexander Chisholme won a bronze medal in snowboardcross at the Western SNX Series in the Lake Louise, Alberta.
Yukon cross-country skiers climbed podium steps at the Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships in Canmore, Alberta. Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty won three gold medals in junior women in Canmore. Teammate Emily Nishikawa also pocketed three medals in open women. Graham Nishikawa won a gold and silver. Janelle Greer won three silver.
The Elijah Smith Elementary Eagles soared over the competition at the Whitehorse Elementary Hockey Tournament. For the gold, Eagles defeated Christ the King Wolverines 3-1 in the final.
The Peewee Mustangs won gold at the Rossland-Trail Peewee Tournament. En route to the Tier 3 title, Mustangs’ Logan Morris scored two goals in the final, including the game-winner.
After three days of racing, two Whitehorse skiers were on the podium at the Haywood NorAm Eastern Canadian Championships in Cantley, Quebec. Knute Johnsgaard and Emily Nishikawa took second overall in their respective divisions.
For the first time in 15 years, a junior curling rink from the Yukon returned from the nationals with a winning record. Yukon’s Team Scoffin went 7-5 to finish sixth at the 2012 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Championships last week in Napanee, Ontario. On board with skip Thomas Scoffin were third Mitch Young, second David Aho, lead Will Mahoney and coach Wade Scoffin. Yukon’s Team Koltun, headed by skip Sarah Koltun, finished with a 4-8 record to place 11th.
Whitehorse Glacier Bears’ swimmers captured six medals at the Swim BC AA Short Course Provincial Championships in Chilliwack. Sam Storey amassed four medals, including two gold. Taylor Campbell won gold, Edouard Bourcier won a bronze.
In a buildup towards the Olympics, Watson Lake native Zach Bell medalled at the UCI Track World Cup in London, England. Competing in the grueling two-day, six-race omnium for the Canadian Track Cycling Team, the 29-year-old Yukoner won two races en route to a bronze medal.
The Yukon Roller Girls remained undefeated by shimmying out a 164-161 win over the Juneau Roller Girls in Juneau, Alaska.
The Vanier Crusaders took an 86-45 win over the F.H. Collins Warriors in the senior boys final of the Yukon Basketball Championships. The Crusaders didn’t lose a game all season. The F.H. Collins Warriors won 67-35 over the Vanier Crusaders in the senior girls championship game.
Yukon dog musher Rachel Kinvig finished in second place at the Junior World Championship in Anchorage, Alaska.
Musher Normand Casavant and skijorer Darryl Sheepway won titles at the River Runner 100 Sled and Skijor Race.
A record five Yukoners represented Canada at the World Junior and U23 Championships in Erzurum, Turkey. Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa, Janelle Greer and Dahria Beatty all had at least one race in which they were Canada’s top finishers. Nishikawa finished 17th in the U23 Ladies 10-kilometre individual classic. It was Canada’s highest placement by a female competitor in Turkey. Beatty took in two top-25 performances in the junior female division. Greer, also in junior women, placed 28th in two races.
The Yukon’s two male skiers, David Greer in U23 and Knute Johnsgaard in junior, both produced Canada’s second-best results in races. David Greer came 35th in the skiathlon and 36th in the 15-kilometre classic. Johnsgaard placed 49th in junior men skiathlon and 51st in the sprint for the second best Canadian finish.
Whitehorse’s Erin Oliver-Beebe became the first Yukon biathlete to compete at the junior worlds, placing 50th out of 75 competitors in youth women’s 10-kilometre individual event at the World Junior and Youth Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland.
On even years March is a busy month for Yukon athletes as they travel to the biennial Arctic Winter Games. This year Yukon athletes didn’t have far to go as Whitehorse hosted the event for a sixth time. Team Yukon captured 122 medals, including 46 gold, to finish second behind Alaska in the medal count at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in March.
The Games ended on a high note as Yukon’s midget hockey team downed N.W.T. 2-1 to win gold in front of a sold-out crowd at Takhini Arena. Yukon forward Tyrell Hope and captain Mike Hare scored in the final.
Both of the Yukon’s basketball teams – boys and girls – won gold with wins over Alaska in back-to-back finals. Yukon’s males won 83-62 and the female squad won 69-60.
Yukon’s junior male volleyball won gold for the first time in 26 years. Yukon’s girls volleyball team took silver.
Yukon’s cross-country skiers finished the Games with a total of four ulus. Katie Peters and Fabian Brook both won a gold.
Yukon’s speed skaters collected 15 ulus – three gold, 11 silver and one bronze. Heather Clarke won two gold and three silver, and set an Arctic Games record in the junior female 777-metre event, with a time of 1:17.17.
Yukon’s gymnasts won bronze in the team event. Fayne O’Donovan won four medals in the individual event.
Whitehorse snowboarder Lara Bellon dominated at the Games, winning five gold ulus.
In curling Yukon’s junior male team defeated Alberta North 8-4 for gold and the Yukon’s junior female rink lost 8-3 to N.W.T. for silver.
Yukon’s junior female hockey defeated N.W.T. 7-1 for the bronze. Tamara Greek had three goals in the game.
Four out of five of Yukon’s soccer team won medals with the junior female squad taking gold.
Special Olympics Yukon had its best-ever showing at Special Olympics Winter Games in St. Albert, Alberta. The Yukon team took in a record amount of medals for the territory at the Winter Games with not one athlete leaving empty-handed. The Yukon rink, which included lead Christopher Lee, second Gaetan Michaud, third Darrin Lucas and skip Colin Sterriah, went undefeated at the Games and beat Alberta 13-2 in the gold medal game. That was not the only gold medal won on the ice. The Yukon’s Michael Sumner, the youngest member of the team, at 14, won gold in men’s Level 1 figure skating. His result landed Sumner a spot on Team Canada for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, early next year. The Yukon’s two other medals came from the veterans of the team, Garry Chaplin and Owen Munroe, in cross-country skiing.
Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmers won six medals at the B.C. AAA Short Course Championships in Surrey, B.C. Whitehorse’s Adrian Robinson had the greatest success with one gold and four bronze medals.
The Yukon Freestyle Ski Team had its strongest-ever result at the Canadian Junior Freestyle Ski Championships. Yukon skier Sebastien Berthiaume landed a flat 720 in the big air competition to place fifth.
Seventeen athletes from the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club pooled their talents to deliver the club’s best-ever showing at the Haywood Ski Nationals at Mont Ste-Anne in Quebec. Despite facing clubs with much larger contingents, Whitehorse preserved its powerhouse status, taking silver out of 66 clubs. The club’s previous best finish was a bronze in 2010. Whitehorse skied to nine race medals, including five gold. In the individual aggregate categories, Whitehorse’s Knute Johnsgaard, who won two gold, became the Canadian junior men champion and Emily Nishikawa placed third in senior women. Johnsgaard was also first in his Year of Birth category in junior men while Nishikawa was first for her Year of Birth category in the U-23 women. Other Year of Birth placings for Whitehorse include David Greer in second for U-23 men, Janelle Greer second in junior women and Dahria Beatty third in junior women.
Whitehorse’s Lois Johnston won four medals at the Canadian Masters National Cross-Country Ski Championships in Golden, B.C.
Whitehorse speed skater Heather Clarke sped past her expectations at the Canadian Short Track Championships at the Richmond Olympic Oval in B.C. Clarke, the first female skater from the Yukon to compete at the event, won bronze in the 1,500-metre event on her way to finishing fifth overall in women’s junior B. The bronze represents the best-ever finish by a Yukon skater at the championships.
Seven Whitehorse Mustangs squads competed at the B.C. Hockey Provincial Championships and a fourth-place finish was the best result for the Whitehorse representative club. The Peewee A Mustangs went 3-2-1 to snag fourth at the Tier 3 tournament in Quesnel, B.C.
Junior girls skier Dahria Beatty and masters men’s Stephen Waterreus won the Gordon Taylor Award for the fastest time in the longest distances at the Yukon Cross-Country Ski Championships.
A silver-medal performance by Zach Bell at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, gave the Watson Lake native a berth at the Summer Olympic Games in London, England. The Team Canada cyclist placed second in the omnium event.
The Yukon Roller Girls suffered their first-ever loss, getting beat 307-146 to the Belladonnas, the Red Deer Roller Derby Association’s top travel team.
Whitehorse’s Fayne O’Donovan won gold in the vault at the B.C. Artistic Gymnastics Championships in North Vancouver, B.C.
Whitehorse’s Jake Jacobs took the King of the Hill trophy by winning seven divisions at the Mount Sima Uphill Challenge, a snowmobile competition at Mount Sima.
Watson Lake’s Jason Carlson, in the open division, and Whitehorse’s Peter Jensen, in the U16 division, won gold in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the Yukon Badminton Championships.
After losing in the finals the last two years, Whitehorse’s Kevin Murphy was back on top in men’s singles at the Yukon Table Tennis Championships, winning his 18th Yukon singles title. The women’s single division got a new champion as Xiu-Mei Zhang took the title with a four-set win over 11-time champion Edna Knight.
Northern Lights Judo Club was shining bright at the Yukon Judo Championships. With a total of 11 medals won, Northern Lights secured the Judo Yukon Championships League Cup having amassed the most points over the four local competitions during the season.
Whitehorse’s Cassandra Ponsioen placed seventh at the Youth Bowling Canada 2012 National Championships in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Vanier’s Anna Rivard, F.H. Collins’ Odette Rivard and Porter Creek Secondary’s Brody Smith each won medals at the Nike High School Grand Prix in Toronto.
Yukon’s Sub Zero 18U men’s team won their tier at the 2012 Canadian Open Volleyball Championships on Tuesday in Toronto. By winning Tier 3, Sub Zero finished 17th overall out of 64 of the country’s best 18U teams. It is the highest a Yukon team has ever finished at the nationals in the 18U men division.
Whitehorse’s Karl Blattmann won his second straight Whitehorse Triathlon. His win didn’t come from a lack of stiff competition: two-time champ Joel Macht came in just 1:20 behind him for second. It was third time’s the charm for Whitehorse’s Kerrie Paterson. After finishing second last year and fourth in 2010, Paterson raced to her first Olympic women’s title in the triathlon.
Whitehorse gymnasts topped the podium in three divisions at the Yukon Gymnastics Championships, beating out visiting Juneau gymnasts. For the third consecutive year, Polarettes’ Fayne O’Donovan won all-around in Level 3, the highest level at the championships. Fayne captured golds in the vault, bars and beam, and snatched bronze on the floor.
The Yukon Horse and Rider Association was no longer just a blip on Equine Canada’s radar. The Yukon association strengthened its ties with the national body as it hosted the first-ever Equine Canada sanctioned event in the territory.
Whitehorse cyclists captured nine out of the race’s 11 divisions at the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay, a 238-kilometre race from Haines Junction to Haines, Alaska. Neither of the Yukon’s two defending solo winners from last year were able to repeat, but Whitehorse’s Nadele Flynn kept the women’s title in the territory.
Whitehorse Glacier Bears won two medals at the B.C. AA Long Course Championships in Victoria. Rennes Lindsay, a nine-year-old competing in an 11-and-under division, won silver in the 200-metre butterfly. Taylor Harvey won bronze in the 100-metre backstroke for 12-year-old girls.
Whitehorse’s John Simmons shot his way to second in the open category and third overall at the Alaska Speed Shooting Championship near Fairbanks.
Yukoners were on four winning teams, two of which arrived in Dawson in record time, at the 14th annual Yukon River Quest. Cruising into Dawson at a record pace were Whitehorse’s Martha Taylor and Ali Morham, taking first in the women’s tandem kayak division. The other record to fall came in the women’s voyageur division. The team, Skirting Disaster, with Whitehorse’s Kam Davies, cut more than eight hours off the previous record. Haines Junction’s Mark Fletcher won the men’s solo canoe division with a time of 57:41:35, almost 11 hours quicker than his first Quest last year. The other Yukoner to win a division was Faro’s Tim Lynch with Nova Scotia’s Dave Lewis in the men’s tandem canoe category.
Whitehorse’s Max Melvin-McNutt won the advanced freestyle division for the second straight year at the Canada Day Skate Comp, an event that doubles as the Yukon skateboarding championship. Jerry Miller won the intermediate division and Talen Dolan won the beginner division.
Watson Lake wrestler Brittanee Laverdure pinned her first gold medal of the year at the Canada Cup in Guelph, Ontario. The 30-year-old won the women’s 55-kilogram class at the biggest summer event on Canada’s wrestling calendar.
Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmer Cassis Lindsay had a long list of
accomplishments at the B.C. AAA Long Course Championships in Richmond, B.C. Lindsay swam personal best times in all of her events, won three medals and set a new Glacier Bears record.
Whitehorse athletes Kendra Murray, Kerstin Burnett and Trevor Bray represented Canada at the Junior World Orienteering Championship in Kosice, Slovakia. Murray placed 65th out of 140 competitors in the women’s sprint event and was Canada’s top finisher in the race.
Quebec’s Vincent Lapierre won by just six seconds over second-place finisher, Yukon’s Rob Rees, in the expert men’s class of the Tour de Whitehorse. Whitehorse’s Jillian Chown captured the expert women’s division beating out 2011 champ Trena Irving.
Whitehorse’s Phil Mullin won his fifth men’s title at the Yukon Golf Championships hitting three under par with a 69 in his first round. Matt Lafferty captured the senior men’s division, his first since winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2008.
Whitehorse was the centre of the softball universe as it hosted the ISF Women’s World Fastpitch Championship with 16 teams from around the world. Japan captured gold in a grueling 2-1, 10-inning battle against Team U.S.A. Team Canada finished fourth with a 3-1 loss to Australia, who went on to take third.
Whitehorse’s Nicholas Rittel set two Canadian shooting records and won three divisions at the 2012 Canadian Rifle Silhouette Championships in Kamloops, B.C.
Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmer MacKenzie Downing, the only Yukoner at the event, won silver in the 100-metre butterfly at the 2012 Canadian Summer Nationals in Edmonton.
Whitehorse cyclists Michael McCann and Bill Curtis took first and third place overall, respectively, in the master men (55 and over) category of the Tour of Anchorage cycling race.
Glacier Bear Haley Braga was the only Yukoner to compete at the Canadian Age Group Championships in Calgary. Braga swam a personal best time in the 200-metre individual medley to reach 51st place for her best result.
Watson Lake cyclist Zach Bell placed eighth in the six-stage omnium track cycling event at the London Olympic Games. Bell won the 15-kilometre scratch race, an event he dedicated to the Yukon.
“Being totally honest about it, I feel terrible,” said Bell. “This is not how I envisioned things going. I feel like I have let a lot of people down and that is hard to swallow. I am satisfied I gave everything I had on the day but it was nowhere near my best.
“For my own personal reasons, though, this has been a hard thing for me to take and will be hard for quite some time.”
Bell went on to receive the International Male Athlete of the Year award at the Sport Yukon Awards Night in December.
Whitehorse weightlifter Jeane Lassen and Watson Lake wrestler Brittanee Laverdure were alternates on Team Canada for the London Games.
In his first time running a full marathon, Whitehorse’s Logan Roots won the 2012 Yukon River Trail Marathon in Whitehorse. The top Yukon finisher in the women’s marathon was Whitehorse’s Piia Kukka in second.
Whitehorse pistol shooter John Simmons finished 22nd out of 68 shooters in the open division at the 2012 IPSC Canadian National Championship in Brandon, Manitoba.
Whitehorse cyclists captured five out of seven divisions in the Tour of Juneau cycling event, leaving only two for Juneau riders. Exporting the titles from Juneau were Troy Henry in the men’s division, Melanie Tait in sport women, Shea Hoffman in youth men, Tanicka Reeves in youth female and Darryl Tait in the handcycle division.
Whitehorse’s Monique “Nicki” Dery placed ninth out of 18 competitors in the Figure E division at the 2012 Canadian Bodybuilding Federation’s Bikini, Figure, Fitness & Elite Men’s Body Building Championships in New Westminster, B.C.
For the third year in a row, Whitehorse’s Laurie Drummond won all available titles at the Yukon Territorial Tennis Championships. Making it nine titles in three years, Drummond won the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Jan Polivka captured his fourth men’s title.
Whitehorse’s Jonah Clark won his second straight men’s long-course division of the King of the Canyon, the Yukon Mountain Bike Championships. Three new royals were crowned as Meagan Wilson became the new queen while Mark Nelson and Christine Kirk were crowned prince and princess for winning in the short-course division.
Fifteen Yukon athletes navigated to 32 medals at the Canadian Orienteering Championships near Edmonton. Seven of the Yukoners won medals in all three distances – short, middle and long. Of those seven, two won gold in every race. Yukon’s Hannah Shier was a triple gold winner in the women 13-14 division and Brent Langbakk won three gold in the men’s 35-44 division.
Team Yukon came back with heavier luggage following the Canada 55+ Games in Sydney, Nova Scotia. There was plenty of hardware in tow. Yukon won a total of 76 medals at the Games, setting a personal best for the territory. Ten Yukon athletes captured five or more medals, all in either swimming or track and field – events in which more medals are up for grabs. Donna Jones ran to seven medals on the track, including four gold, in the 55-and-over division. Hank Leenders took in six medals with four gold in athletics for 70-and-over. They were the top medal earners.
Cyclist Zach Bell closed out the cycling season by winning the Challenge Sprint Pro in Quebec City.
For the third consecutive year, Whitehorse’s Scarecrow won the open division of the Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay.
David Eikelboom, who moved to Whitehorse in May, won the open men’s division at the Yukon Cross Country Championships. Whitehorse’s Maura Sullivan defended her open women’s title from last year.
Over 80 Whitehorse runners participated in the Victoria Marathon in B.C., and six placed in the top-five for their age categories. Topping the list was Logan Roots. The 19-year-old snagged 18th overall and first place for males 19-and-under in the half-marathon distance. Yukon MP Ryan Leef was the top Yukoner in the full-distance event, placing 38th with a time of 2:58:15. He was also fifth for men 35-39. Logan Boehmer took second for males 20-24 in the half distance.
The Strikers U-14 boys and U-14 girls teams went winless at the National Soccer Club Championships in Vaughan, Ontario, but both had tight battles along the way. The Strikers girls tied Saskatchewan 0-0 and New Brunswick 1-1, and lost 1-0 to P.E.I. The Strikers boys were given the Fair Play Award for their sportsmanship at the championships.
Whitehorse athletes showed their speed on foot and wheels at the Huntsman World Senior Games in Utah. Cyclist Michael McCann and runner Donna Jones sped to seven medals at the Games, including four gold.
Tennis Yukon had its strongest showing at the Alaska State Junior Championships in Anchorage. Yukon juniors picked up wins and even took in a title at the indoor, hard court championship. Whitehorse’s Khang Pham won the U18 Challenger division.
Competing in their first Women’s World Curling Tour, Whitehorse’s Team Koltun went 5-2 for third place at the Valley First Crown of Curling in Kamloops, B.C. Team Koltun, is made up of Sarah Koltun, Chelsea Duncan, Patty Wallingham and Jenna Duncan.
In the Whitehorse rep team’s first tournament of the season, the Midget A Mustangs took two wins and two losses to tie for third in Tier 3 at the Abbotsford International 2012 Midget Memorial Tournament in B.C.
Whitehorse’s Jackie Harrison showed why she was named a Canada West All-Star while playing at the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship. The 22-year-old midfielder booted in two important goals to help the University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team capture its second-ever bronze at the championship in Victoria, B.C.
Consistent wins over the season led to a big payoff for Whitehorse Arctic Edge skater Rachel Pettitt. With another gold-medal win at the B.C. Sectionals, Pettitt became the first Yukon skater to win Skate B.C.‘s Pond to Podium Super Series. She was also the first Yukoner to win gold at sectionals.
The Hidden Valley Elementary School’s Grade 7 girls won their third consecutive Grade 7 girls title at the Yukon Elementary Volleyball Championships. The Huskies took the championship with a 25-23, 25-19 win over the Elijah Smith Eagles in the final. The Holy Family Elementary’s Grade 7 boys didn’t just go undefeated in the championship, the team was undefeated in Whitehorse elementary school league during the season. The Holy Family Hurricanes capped the perfect season with a 25-15, 25-12 straight-set win over the Selkirk Elementary Coyotes in the final.
The Whitehorse Female Mustangs was the youngest team playing in a tough Tier 2 draw, but it was their opponents’ goalies that hampered them the most at the third annual Wickenheiser Hockey Festival tournament in Burnaby, B.C. The Whitehorse representative team went 1-2-1 to finish fourth out of five teams in the midget Tier 2 division.
Eleven NHL players came up to Whitehorse to play in the First Assist Charity Hockey Fundraiser Classic at Takhini Arena. It was the fourth and final stop on the First Assist Charity hockey tour.
The Vanier Crusaders senior boys didn’t win a single match during the Super Volley season in Whitehorse and they lost in the final at the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament. But when the team needed wins the most, they got them. The Crusaders won the senior boys division of the Pepsi Yukon Volleyball Championships in a grueling marathon final against the F.H. Collins Warriors. The Porter Creek Rams senior girls won gold with a four-set win over the F.H. Collins Warriors in the final at the championships.
Whitehorse’s Ray Mikkelsen and his team went 2-4 to finish tied for ninth out of 14 teams at the Dominion Curling Club Championship in Scarborough, Ontario.
Mountain View Golf Course’s club-pro Jeff Wiggins was named Golf Professional of the Year by the BCPGA. Wiggins was instrumental in creating the Skookum Asphalt Charity Pro-Am, the premier event on the golf calendar in Whitehorse. The event has raised almost $200,000 for the Yukon Hospital Foundation in just three years.
Whitehorse’s Bantam A Mustangs posted three straight shutouts to win gold at the Winfield Bantam Rep Invitational in Winfield, B.C. The Whitehorse rep team outscored the competition 27-6 en route to gold.
There were plenty of reasons to be excited at the Yukon Gold Nugget Championships. The Yukon’s figure skating championship, hosted by the Whitehorse Arctic Edge Skating Club, had more Outside skaters compete than ever before, with six from N.W.T.‘s Inuvik Figure Skating Club and five from Alaska’s Juneau Skating Club. The championships saw a total of 32 skaters take part, up from 24 last year. With the Alaska team at the championship, it was also an international event for just the second time.
Whitehorse’s Ryley Johnson from Avalanche MMA twice got his opponent in chokeholds en route to getting a win at WarPath VIII in Chilliwack, B.C. Fighting Chilliwack’s Corry Wass (0-1) in a submission grappling bout in the 160-pound youth division, Johnson won the fight with an arm choke about three-and-a-half minutes in.
Whitehorse figure skater Rachel Pettitt placed fourth in pre-novice against 55 skaters at the Skate Canada Challenge in Regina. Her result marks the highest placement by a Yukoner at the event. Since the competition doubles as the national championships for the pre-novice division, Pettitt’s result is also the highest a Yukoner has placed at a Canadian championship.
Competing at the Alberta World Cup, which featured 221 of the best skiers from 20 countries, Whitehorse cross-country skiers Graham and Emily Nishikawa produced their best world cup showing on Sunday in Canmore, Alberta. Graham raced to 15th in the 30-kilometre skiathlon – 15 kilometres of classic followed by 15 kilometres of skating – in senior men. Graham’s previous best at a world cup was 27th last year in Sweden. (Graham also placed 17th in a world cup in Russia in 2010, but that race only had about 23 entered due to cold weather.) He was also the second Canadian over the finish line on Sunday with Ian Babikov placing 12th.
Emily sped to 34th in the 15-kilometre skiathlon with a time of 46:30.7 in the senior women division on Sunday. She was the top-Canadian ahead of 11 others and just 15 seconds from cracking the top-30.
The Nishikawas were joined at the world cup by Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty and David Greer. At just 18, Beatty’s presence in her first world cup was an achievement on its own. As the third-youngest skier in the senior women’s division, Beatty placed 57th on Thursday, 55th in the sprints Saturday and 54th in the skiathlon.
Unlike the other Yukoners, Greer opened with his best result, taking 47th in the 15-kilometre classic in open men. It was Greer’s first world cup appearance. He qualified for world cups last year but went to races in Europe instead.
Contact Tom Patrick at