Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Morris Prokop

STRETCH SHOT – Joey Forster of Kelowna stretches for a shot during a Mixed Open match against Julien Revel during the Yukon Open 2023 at Better Bodies in Whitehorse Saturday.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

A LONG REACH – Georgia Grace reaches for the ball during a match against Karizza Concepcion.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

DOWN AND OUT – Squash Yukon coach Gyanendra Singh readies a return while Jeff Muirhead is on the floor after a tough return in their Mixed Open match.

Squash Yukon holds 2023 Yukon Open

Squash Yukon held their 2023 Yukon Open this past weekend.

By Morris Prokop on May 9, 2023

Squash Yukon held their 2023 Yukon Open this past weekend.

Joey Forster travelled from Kelowna to play in the Mixed Open, the highest level of competition in the Open. The Star spoke with him on Saturday after he had played two games, both wins.

"I play a lot of squash and I've never been to Whitehorse for a squash tournament, or in general. I've always wanted to come up here. I hear it's a thriving squash community, so just wanted to come up and play some squash."

Forster was impressed with the Yukon Open.

"It's good. They've had Gyan (Singh) as the club pro here and it seems like he's really pushed for a lot of people to play more, and more coaching and more lessons. I think there's a record number of people in the event, there's like 70 people playing. I've heard in the past it's been fiftyish, so that's a good sign.

"It's definitely competitive here. The level's higher than I thought it was going to be, for sure. So, yeah, it's great."

Finley Armstrong came from Victoria. He has grandparents that live in the Yukon and had a chance to visit them during the Open.

"I played in it last year and I won it, so I wanted to win it again."

Armstrong won the Mixed B division last year and was playing in Mixed A this year.

He's been playing for 10 years.

"I just understand the game very well."

Trevor Mead-Robins played a "grudge" match against Peter Murdoch.

"Just here to have fun, play. Gotta get back to work later today, so it's a nice way to break up the weekend, have some fun."

"It's all fun. It's a really awesome group, great board, lots of volunteers, lots of sponsors, so, happy to be here."

Georgia Grace edged Karizza Concepcion in a competitive Mixed E match.

Grace said, "It was good. We had some good volleys, good rallies. It was close. Close in the last game."

Concepcion added, "She's really good. It was a good game, good match and good camaraderie between the two of us."

Grace said she's been enjoying the tournament.

"It's just been really fun. I got to play her last week, so we knew each other, we knew how we play, and we have some good rallies."

Grace, who finished in third place in Mixed E, was on the Canada Games team.

Concepcion has been taking lessons with Squash Yukon.

Julien Revel was downed by Forster in a Mixed Open match.

"As good as it could have been, with my condition," related Revel. "I'm not squash fit. He's been ranked 20 in Canada when he was young and got second in National for 45-plus. Just an amazing player. Maybe if I had more strategy I would have given him a better game but he's got so many years of experience.

"It's fun. We had some good rallies."

Revel was looking forward to the final between Forster and Squash Yukon coach Gyanendra Singh.

"Can't wait to watch the final … it's not often we get the experience and the quality that comes here."

Revel finished fourth in the Mixed Open.

Singh had a very competitive Mixed Open match with Jeff Muirhead, who Singh said is one of the top players at the club.

"It was a good one," said Singh. "He's a super-athletic guy. He has all the shots in his weaponry … he's a complete player. It's always fun to play with him."

Muirhead finished third in the Mixed Open.

Regarding the tournament, Singh said, "This is the highest number (71) we've had in 10 years. All the different skill level of players are playing in this tournament.

"Everybody's having so much fun. Everybody's loving it."

Singh added he would also like to see more players from out of town in the tournament.

Forster ended up beating Singh in the Mixed Open final.

Armstrong took the Mixed A title.

Ethan Lycan-Lang won the Mixed B division.

Charles Gagne captured the Mixed C title.

Alyson Tremblay-Broch triumphed in the Mixed D.

And Kyla Kurzynski finished first in the Mixed E division.

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