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Locals ‘squash’ opponents in Red Lake

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A local contingent of squash players had a strong showing at the sixth-annual Red Lake Open last weekend, winning three titles in three separate divisions.

Mary Beth Tkachuk of Fort Frances blanked Katie Bonthlon (Toronto) 3-0 in the final of the ladies ‘A/B’ event.

Tkachuk went undefeated in the tournament, cruising to a 3-0 victory over Debbie Fretz (Red Lake) after opening with a 3-1 win over Elaine Kielo (Toronto).

Her husband, Bob, also came away with a tournament victory, reeling off three straight wins in the men’s “Veteran” division for players aged 45 and older.

Tkachuk downed Russell Smart (Red Lake) 3-1 in the final after nipping Dean Dubruil (Kenora) 3-2 and shutting out Jack Lyons (Winnipeg) 3-0.

Toby Munro, also from here, earned the third tourney crown for the Fort group after beating Joel Campbell (Red Lake) 3-1 in the championship match of the men’s ‘C/D’ event.

He earlier had edged Alex Holmes (Red Lake) 3-2 and dumped Richard San Cartier (Red Lake) 3-0.

Other local squash players competing there included Al Christiansen, who was ousted from the men’s ‘B’ event after losing 3-0 to eventual winner Dave Cosher (Toronto).

Christiansen had opened play with a narrow 3-2 win over Shawn Donohue (Thunder Bay).

Mark Faragher also lost his second game in the ‘B’ event, getting swept 3-0 by Dave Zablowsky (Kenora). He had won his first game 3-0 score over Sandra Sears (Toronto).

In the ‘C/D’ event, John Hazel of here was ousted after a 3-1 loss to Kent Ackerman (Toronto). Hazel had staved off elimination with a 3-1 win over San Cartier after opening with a 3-1 loss to Dave Gelderland (Red Lake).

Meanwhile, Dave Wroblewsky of here lost the ‘C/D’ consolation final to Kent Ackerman (Toronto) 3-2. He had opened with a 3-0 loss to Gary Beuchler (Winnipeg) but then beat Cam Chapman (Red Lake) 3-1.

In ‘C/D’ women’s action, Darlene Barrett (Fort Frances) lost to Lindsey Edwards (Kenora) 3-0 after first beating Kim Pauli (Red Lake) 3-1.

Linda Roberts (Thunder Bay) won that division with a 3-0 win over Edwards.

The men’s ‘A’ event was captured by Paul Shine (Red Lake), who cruised to a 3-0 win over Bob Shine (Thunder Bay) in the final. He earlier had blanked both Aaron Brown (Red Lake) and Mark Cote (Toronto) by 3-0 scores.

The tournament, considered the most northern one in the province, attracted 63 players altogether (the most ever), including a strong contingent from as far as Toronto.

In other news, Toronto will host the national squash tournament next year, which is expected to attract as many as a 1,000 players in the ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D’ events.

Both Mary Beth and Bob Tkachuk already have committed to playing in this tournament, and more local players are encouraged to attend.

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