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Squashers a hit in Thunder Bay


A strong local contingent of squash players won three division titles at the Northwestern Ontario Open in Thunder Bay over the weekend.

Drew Allan defeated Josh Gonzalez 3-1 in the championship final of the junior event. Allan, who went undefeated during the tournament, reached the final after wins over Derek Vilam (3-1), Stephanie Couch (3-0), and Sarah Muir (3-0).

In men’s action, Anthony Andrusco won the ‘C’ crown with an exciting 3-2 win over Peter Mair—pulling out a 10-9 victory in the fifth-and-deciding game.

He earlier had defeated Patrick Basley (3-0) and Curtis Stasiw (3-2).

And Mary Beth Tkachuk—playing in the men’s ‘D’ event—won that division after downing fellow clubmate John Hazel (3-1) in the championship match.

She opened with wins over John Victor (3-0) and Robert Martinie (3-1). Hazel reached the final after beating Barb Rees (3-1) and Tom Poleck (3-0).

In other action, Benji Andrusco went 3-0 in the men’s ‘B’ division before losing 3-0 to Rob Aitkens in the final—blowing leads of 8-0 and 7-1 in two of the games.

He had opened with 3-0 wins over John Voker, Jose Gonzalez, and clubmate Jason Kabel. Kabel beat Ian Newhouse (3-1) and Tracey Harris 3-2 before being ousted by Andrusco.

Al Christiansen took the ‘B’ consolation final with a 3-1 win over Jill Skogberg. After losing his first match 3-2 to Harris, Christiansen bounced back to blank Ian Newhouse and Voker by 3-0 scores.

Toby Munro, also playing in the ‘B’ event, downed Skogberg 3-1 and Savario Nigro 3-2 before losing to Aitken 3-0.

Junior player Steve Krag, playing in the men’s ‘E’ event, beat Adam Solomon (3-0) but then was bounced 3-0 by Neil Purves.

Bob Tkachuk, playing in the Master’s division, lost the championship final 3-0 to Ralph St. Jaire. He had earned a berth in the final after tight wins over Robert Hutton (3-2) and Dominic Pellegrino (3-2).

In women’s action, Darlene Barrett captured the women’s consolation final after shutting out Veronica Bonnett 3-0. She opened play by losing 3-1 to Josephine Nigro but then rebounded with a 3-1 win over Cindy Arpin.

Teresa Hazel split her two games, beating Beth Noble 3-0 but then losing 3-1 to Bonnett, while Keira Main beat Arpin 3-0 and Josephine Nigro 3-1 before losing 3-0 to Noble.

Rounding out the 15-player local contingent were Megan Canfield and Sarah Barton, who played in the junior division. Canfield opened by blanking Craig Kosonen 3-0 but then was ousted after a 3-0 loss to Aiden Bharath.

Meanwhile, Barton dumped Sam Sloen 3-1 in her first game but then was eliminated 3-0 by Sara Muir.

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