Yukoners knock pins at nationals

This past weekend four Yukon youths had time to spare -- and strike. Competing in the Youth Bowling Canada Championships in Toronto, two girls and two boys from the territory each brought home at least one win and experience to pull on in the future.

This past weekend four Yukon youths had time to spare—and strike.

Competing in the Youth Bowling Canada Championships in Toronto, two girls and two boys from the territory each brought home at least one win and experience to pull on in the future.

Bowling in his third national championships, senior boys representative Matthew Mendham-Rudniski, 15, won six of 24 games to place 11th out of a field of 13.

“He’s been there twice before so he’s used to the type of competition that it is,” said Yukon coach Kevin Murphy.

Mendham-Rudniski also had three close losses that would have moved him up in the standing had he won.

He may have pulled out the wins had he more experience playing in the clutch, said Murphy.

“It all boils down to not having enough match-play or tournament-play,” he said. “You could see that some of his competitors had an edge in their mental toughness; they know how to deliver the winning shot under pressure.”

Even getting to the nationals required less competitive play from the Yukon players, who only had to qualify out of their house (i.e. bowling alley). Other bowlers, from more populated areas, had to qualify out of their house, their region and then their province.

“That’s three levels of pressure training to get to the top,” said Murphy. “That’s a hard thing to duplicate.”

Senior girls bowler Nicole Thompson, 16, also finished in 11th—tied with another—winning three of 24 games.

It was her fourth time competing at the national level, but that only does so much to cushion a couple disheartening losses

“One of her games she won by one point, but prior to that she had lost a game by six points when she basically had victory in her grasp,” said Murphy. “There was another that she lost by a margin of about 11 points.

“Those are tough when you’re bowling OK and you’re doing the right things, but you just don’t deliver when it counts at the end of the game. It was hard for her to recover from that.”

Cassandra Ponsioen, 13, competing in the junior girls division, took a win and a tie in 24 games, tying for 11th with a competitor from NWT.

Not only was Ponsioen competing in her first national championship, she only started bowling in the last year.

Remarkably, she produced the highest score of all the athletes representing the territory, bowling a 248.

Unfortunately, the high score—a personal best—was not enough to collect a win in that particular game.

“She lost it by three-points—the other player had a 251,” said Murphy. “She took it very well. She was enjoying the experience and if she gets out to this level of competition I’d expect her to do a lot better.”

Junior boys competitor Gavin Young, 12, tied for last with one win. Still, he carried himself like a champion, according to Murphy.

“Gavin was totally unfazed,” said Murphy. “He enjoyed himself. It didn’t matter to him that all these other bowlers were putting up scores he hadn’t done before.

“He listened quite well and made some real improvements to his game. His high game was a 203.”

Besides gaining experience playing in pressure situations, Murphy feels witnessing other youth bowlers playing well or remaining mentally tough when the pressure’s on raises the Yukoners’ games.

“It’s amazing what happens when the kids get out here and there’s other kids their age, and they watch them and can see how well they play and how they don’t give up on any shot,” said Murphy. “They look at the scores and go, ‘That kid is the same age as me and she got a 270.’ And they feel if the other fellow can do it so can I.”

The end of the season is always a good time to look towards the next. However, youth bowling organizers in Whitehorse have more on their plate than usual.

After 10 years acting as program director and a coach for the Whitehorse Youth Bowling League, Wayne Beauchemin has decided to step down from the position.

“The concern is if the program will continue to run and will we have kids wanting to participate,” said Murphy. “We’d be interested in hearing from anybody wanting to step forward and help out.

“He’s been such an integral driving force behind the program it would be nice to see it continue with other parents in the fall.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read