Interlake athletes win medals in MHSAA badminton provincials

Chris Wiebe (middle) of the Stonewall Collegiate Rams won the gold medal in boys' singles of the Manitoba High School Athletic Association's Provincial Varsity Badminton Championships at R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson, Man. on May 4, 2019. Noah Koslowsky (left) of the Steinbach Christian Flames won silver and Aakash Natarajan (right) from the Glenlawn Lions won bronze. (Submitted photo: Kelly Scallion)

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For the second time in nine years, a Stonewall Collegiate Ram has won the boys’ singles title at the MHSAA Varsity Provincial Badminton Championships.

Chris Wiebe, who finished second at the provincial under-19 boys singles championship last month, emerged as the provincial high school champion with a 21-12, 21-12 victory over Steinbach Christian’s Noah Koslowsky in the final at R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson on May 4. The last time a Ram won the varsity boys’ singles title was Dale Kinley in 2011.

Wiebe dominated in Pool A, surrendering less than 10 points in all but one game on his way to being the top seed in the playoffs. After a first round win over Vu Minh Pham of Elmwood 21-13, 21-4, Wiebe faced a tough test against St. Paul’s Eric Martin, whom he outlasted 21-13, 29-30, 21-17 to advance to the semifinals. Wiebe later won 21-13, 21-19 against Glenlawn’s Aakash Natarajan to advance to the final.

The Rams’ Loren Proven reached the playoffs and finished 11th, while Odin Domino of the Teulon Collegiate Saints went 3-4 in Pool D.

Emalia Sinclair of the Warren Collegiate Wildcats received silver in girls’ singles after a 21-7, 21-18 loss to Jeannette Ding of the Fort Richmond Centurions in the final on May 4.

Sinclair, who also finished second in under-19 girls’ singles at badminton provincials, won all six of her matches in Pool B and was seeded second. After a 21-12, 14-21, 21-8 first-round win over Janique Grenier from St. Jean-Baptiste, Sinclair defeated Windsor Park’s Ellen Bae 23-21, 21-13 in the quarter-finals and Major Pratt’s Anna Garnett 21-13, 21-13 in the semifinals.

It was an all-Interlake battle for bronze in boys’ doubles as Ryan Hill and Austin Persoage of Teulon defeated Ethan Lindsay-Corbel and Justin Levesque of Stonewall 21-16, 21-13. The Teulon pair lost to Fort Richmond’s Sehaj Ghotra and Ruihao Li 21-16, 21-18 in one semifinal, while the Stonewall duo fell to Anthony Tan and Stephen Cheng of the Vincent Massey Trojans 21-16, 21-15 in the other.

Teulon’s Jacey Ledochowski and Mackenzie Garand finished fourth in girls’ doubles after losing the bronze medal match 21-16, 21-10 to Dufferin Christian’s Brandi  Bergsma and Cassie Voogt. The Saints pairing went 6-1 in Pool B, but lost their semifinal 21-8, 21-10 to Phoebe Riddell and Tayah Van Stone of Miami.

Stonewall’s Hunter Luprypa and Dante Lourenco finished sixth, while Teulon’s Eric Chobotar and Jubilee Nichols ended up in eighth in mixed doubles. Dalton Johnson and Denali Sigurdson of the Riverton Collegiate Patriots lost to Chobotar/Nichols in the first round, but ran the table to win the consolation bracket and eighth place. Bryce Good and Jolene Hancox, also from Teulon, went 3-4 in Pool D.

JV Badminton Provincials in Winkler

Lloyd Courchene and Gaeun Park had the top Interlake result in the MHSAA Junior Varsity Provincial Badminton Championships at Northlands Parkway Collegiate in Winkler on May 3 and 4, as the pairing from Riverton finished in 10th place in mixed doubles.

Abigail Enns of Stonewall was 11th, while Keely Emms-Finnson of the Arborg Athletics was 14th in girls’ singles.

Gracyn Melsted of Riverton went 2-5 and Lane Bond of Warren was 1-5 in their respective boys’ singles pools.

Teulon’s Victor Einarsson and Gavin Gebhardt were 2-5 and the Gimli Lakers’ Karson Karish and Zach Meadows were 1-6 in boys’ doubles.

The Saints’ Amanda Guilbeault and Chloe Domino were 3-4, while Kiorra Johannesson and Bailey Prystupa of Gimli went 2-5 in girls’ doubles.