Northwestern Ontario Open Squash Tournament Round-Up

A packed house on hand at Canada Games Complex during the Open A Finals between Nick Persichino and Sean Cameron. Cameron ended up beating Persichino in 5, winning the Open A Division.
A packed house on hand at Canada Games Complex during the Open A Finals between Nick Persichino and Sean Cameron. Cameron ended up beating Persichino in 5, winning the Open A Division.

THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Canada Games Complex played host to the 34th annual Northwestern Ontario Open Squash Tournament this past weekend with 52 players descending from Kenora, Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances and of course Thunder Bay, playing in 8 divisions ranging from Beginner Women’s to Open A.

Squash has shown a significant resurgence in Thunder Bay over the past 3 years with almost 300 players playing on the city’s only available courts at the Games Complex. This year’s tournament continued to reflect the renewed interest in the sport. Not only were participation numbers up over past years but most significantly there were 3x more women playing in this year’s tournament than last – a great sign of the sport’s continued growth!

In addition to more female squash players in the tournament, the contingency of Juniors (under 18) represented primarily by Thunder Bay and Fort Frances, continued to show strong numbers, allowing for both a Junior A and B division. With solid junior development programs well established in both communities, it’s always encouraging to see high participation of youth at the tournament year over year.

Division finals wrapped up Sunday afternoon. After a wild A Division Final that saw Dale Cizmar relentlessly battle James Gill to win in 5 games, all attention turned to the Open A Division Final between Sean Cameron and Nick Persichino. With the crowd’s eyes locked on Court 1, Persichino started strong with a 2-0 lead. Cameron fought back, however, inching his way ahead to tie the match at 2 games a piece. Going into the final game, both players showed visible signs of fatigue but it would be Persichino who gave up the ghost first, falling 11-7 to Cameron in the 55-minute battle.

Final standings from the 8 divisions are as follows:

Open A Division

1st Sean Cameron

2nd Nick Persichino

3rd Geoff Stoakes

 

A Division

1st Dale Cizmar

2nd James Gill

3rd Jeff Werner

B Division

1st Michael Dorval

2nd Mike Canfield

3rd Josh Councillor

C Division

1st Ryley Booth

2nd Owen Riches

3rd Quinn Leschuk

D Division

1st Jenelle Martin

2nd Ezra Koester

3rd Sam Bernardi

Women’s Beginner

1st Megan Bellinger

2nd Bonnie Hay

3rd Kerry Canfield

Junior A

1st Aidan Taggart

2nd Giuseppe Arcara

3rd Gabe Gunderson

Junior B

1st Gabriel Koester

2nd Hunter Jean

3rd Cameron Bill

 

The organizers of the tournament would like to thank our sponsors, including Davlor Financial, Balmoral Legal Centre, Lakehead Roofing, No Frills, Dewhurst Insurance, Rollin’ Thunder, Canada Games Complex, Xamsa Squash, Dufresne and Control the T Sports. All funds raised from this tournament go directly toward the continued development of the Junior Squash program in Thunder Bay, helping with gear, training equipment, and travel to other tournaments throughout Ontario and the region.

The next tournament will take place in Fort Frances at the Sunset Country Squash Club January 3-5, 2020. For more information and to register, send Bob and Mary-Beth Tkachuk an email: bobandmb@vianet.ca or visit the Sunset Country Squash Facebook page.