Yukon squash players claim titles in Yellowknife

Squash Yukon is hoping to reignite a rivalry with N.W.T. Squash. They made the first move this past weekend.

Squash Yukon is hoping to reignite a rivalry with N.W.T. Squash. They made the first move this past weekend.

Twelve Yukon players competed at the 2016 N.W.T. Territorial Squash Championships at the Yellowknife Racquet Club, winning three titles.

“Our goal was to start up an old friendly rivalry between Squash Yukon and N.W.T. Squash. I think it worked, as we placed very well in several divisions, showing Yellowknife’s squash community we are strong competition,” said Squash Yukon president Stephen Buckler in an email to the News. “The Yukon still holds the old Challengers Cup, which the two territories used to compete over in a team versus team format.

“We hope N.W.T. Squash sends players to compete in the Yukon Open in May 2017, or perhaps sends a new team to take back the Challengers Cup. The squash ball is in their court.”

Yukon players won three divisions and were runner-ups in two others.

Juniors Sana Syed and Ava Cairns picked up a pair of women’s titles. Syed won five straight matches to top the B division and Cairns four straight to win the C.

Buckler came out on top of a field of 14 players to take the men’s B division title.

Whitehorse’s Stephen Grundmanis pulled off a second place finish in men’s open while Lara-Rae Grant did the same in women’s B.

Two other Yukoners made the podium with Terri Cairns third in women’s A – defeating Whitehorse’s Lori Muir in the third/fourth match – and Jada Smith third in women’s C.

Other Yukon results include Rannon Johnson fourth in junior A; Cameron Webber, Squash Yukon’s head coach and current Yukon men’s champ, ninth in open men; Grayson Peters 10th in open men; and junior player Mackenzie Cameron 13th in men’s C.

“I was very impressed with how our juniors played,” added Buckler. “Squash Yukon’s juniors showed a lot of skill and sportsmanship in the face of tough competition.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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