The BC Web Spring Open ran last weekend at the Bulkley Valley Pool squash courts, drawing the highest number of participants in the last few years to compete in four experience levels over the course of four days of fast-paced action.
“This is a huge turnout,” said co-organizer Mark Edwards. Over the past few years, local tournaments have averaged around 30 players, while the Spring Open drew 46 players. Co-organizer Malcolm MacMillan chalked up part of the increase to preparation.
“We got organized, and early registration helped,” he said.
Edwards also said the event was helped along not only by sponsors, but by the host facility.
“The new management at the pool has made a huge difference for us,” he said.
When pool play was over, the final championship match in the A category came down to two out of town residents. One, Cameron Webber, was visiting town from Whitehorse, and the other, Joe Rektor – the winner of last fall’s Great White Bustard tournament here in Smithers – is from Prince Rupert. The final match went all the way to a fifth game to determine the winner of the best of five series, drawing numerous rounds of applause from the crowd.
“This is probably the highest calibre A final this year,” said MacMillan.
At the end of Sunday afternoon’s showdown, Webber emerged the winner, with Rektor in a close second. Rounding out the A group was Richard Haley in third.
Edwards agreed the final match was top notch.
“That was a serious five setter in the A, with some exemplary squash technique,” he said.
In the B category, the two co-organizers battled for the top spot, with Edwards winning out over MacMillan. Bill Holdyk finished in third. Lorna Thornton won the C category, with Beth Jakubec in second and Janice Graham in third. In the Men’s D category, Erik Lillies finished in first, followed by Rick Dykstra in second and your author in third. In the Women’s D category, Patty Menning won, with Colleen Fines in second and Rachael Ernst in third.