An even dozen Sunset Country Squash Club players travelled to Thunder Bay over the weekend for the Northwestern Open.
The tournament also included playoffs for juniors hoping to qualify for the Ontario Junior Teams Tourney in Niagara-on-the-Lake from March 3-6.
Anniss Seid and Shawn Brady advanced in the under-19 and under-15 boys’ divisions, respectively.
Angel McCormack, meanwhile, took the under-15 girls’ spot uncontested, as did Anika Alexander with the under-17 girls’ slot.
Seid also played in the men’s ‘A’ division—and nearly upset perennial champ and Thunder Bay junior coach Bob Shine.
However, Seid couldn’t quite overcome Shine, losing 11-9 in the fifth game, with two “strokes” costing him the win.
Brady surprised Tyler Rudnicki (Thunder Bay) 3-2 to capture the boy’s under-15 crown while also winning the junior ‘A’ division to complete a successful weekend in the Lakehead.
Jason Kabel competed alongside Seid in the men’s ‘A’ division, but lost to Shine in five games in the final.
The match was a very physical and mental battle, with Shine changing tempo and pace many times.
Veteran Mark Faragher, also competing in the men’s ‘A’ division, ended his weekend with a 1-2 record.
Junior coach Bob Tkachuk had a tough road en route to recording a 4-0 record, winning a pair of five-game matches before eventually defeating Shawn Donohue (Thunder Bay) to capture the men’s ‘B’ final.
In the men’s ‘C’ division, local Scott Avis, with two wins under his belt, met Randy Wilson (Sioux Lookout) in the final, but fell 3-0 to finish as the runner-up.
In the same division, junior coach Mary-Beth Tkachuk recorded a 2-2 mark, dropping the ‘C’ consolation final 3-1 to local Salem Seid.
Salem finished with a 3-1 record overall.
In the men’s ‘D’ division, local under-15 junior Angel McCormack defeating all comers, including local Robert Stevens 3-2 in the final.
Stevens also had two wins to meet McCormack in the final.
Junior Maryam Seid played well in the junior ‘A’ division, finishing with a 2-1 record.
And in his first tourney, junior Jesse Quesnel lost his first two matches but won his third by a 3-0 tally.
Coaches Bob and Mary-Beth Tkachuk continued to see the juniors make strides with their confidence and mental play while having fun.
Next up for some local juniors will be Winnipeg Subway tourney at the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in early January.
In related news, any interested men are reminded to sign up at the squash courts for the annual Boxing Day tournament on Dec. 26.
Spots are limited for this one-day event.