Despite having a contingent half the size of their American counterparts, Yukon ruled supreme at the Alaska/Yukon Challenge.
The Yukon team, which had 10 players to Alaska’s 20, won all four divisions at the 10th annual table tennis event in Fairbanks June 9-10.
Yukon head coach Kevin Murphy doesn’t recall Yukon winning all the divisions before.
“I think this is the first time,” he said. “One of the things that happened is Anchorage didn’t quite have the participation, didn’t have one of their stronger players who usually shows up … and he’s usually a factor in there.”
This year’s event saw an all-Whitehorse open singles final with Ryan Bachli defeating Daniel Li. Bachli won his fifth men’s singles title at the Yukon Table Tennis Championships last month.
Dawson City’s Gerard Parsons took the B division singles with a win over Fairbanks’ Carol Johnson in the final.
Parsons and fellow Dawsonite Emily Gaw also won the B division team event. Gaw, who is the current Yukon girls champ, won the Yukon women’s singles title in 2016.
Dawson wasn’t done contributing to the success of Yukon, which last won the Challenge in 2015. Dawson’s Ethan Gaw and Sam Crocker topped the open team event with a win over parent-son team Doron and Eric Partyka of Fairbanks.
Klondike players might be even tougher to beat next year. Dawson is slated to host next year’s Alaska/Yukon Challenge that uses a handicap format to level the playing field between players of different skill levels.
“That would be a big change and a pretty good validation of how influential the Dawson club has become in Table Tennis Yukon,” added Murphy.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org