Alaska Yukon Challenge – June 9 & 10, 2017

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Hosted by Fairbanks Interior Table Tennis

Tournament Directors: Diann Darnall and Rick Robertson

Thank you to Contributing Sponsors:

Mega Reporting - Whitehorse

Ryan’s Woodworking - Whitehorse

Alaska Table Tennis - Anchorage

The 10th annual Alaska-Yukon Challenge Table Tennis Tournament was held Friday and Saturday at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Patty Center.

Twenty-two Fairbanks Interior Table Tennis players teamed up with two players from Anchorage to make up the Alaska Team. The top 4 players from Whitehorse joined the top 4 players from Dawson City to collaborate for the Yukon Team. Athletes competed for over $1,300 in prize money and the traveling trophies.

Ten hours of play and 134 hard fought matches later, the Canadians rose victorious in both the <1000 Division and the Open in this unique handicapped event. In this tournament the higher rated players spot their opponents 1 point per 50 points different in the ratings. Starting the match with a negative score for the advanced players tends to make the matches more competitive and fun for all players regardless of skill level.

On Friday evening in the singles event each match was played best two of three games to win the match.

In the <1000 Singles of three round robin groups, Dennis Hedgecock, Carol Johnson, and Gerard Parsons advanced out of their group with Jane Parrish drawing the Wild Card for the semi-final round. Carol Johnson was victorious over Dennis Hedgecock 11-9, 10-12, 11-6. On the neighbor table Gerard Parsons over came Jane Parrish 11-2, 5-11, 12-6. In the finals Gerard Parsons, from Dawson City, took the Championship over second place finisher Carol Johnson, from Fairbanks, 11-2, 11-5.

In the Open Singles, players fought through four round robin groups to fill the semi-final spots with the top player from each group. In the semi-finals Ryan Bachli, from Whitehorse, took the match from Dave DeMay, from Eagle River, 12-10, 12-5. The other semi-final match saw Daniel Li, from Whitehorse, victorious over Oleg Sheynfeld, from Fairbanks 11-7, 5-11, 11-9. The finals were set for the showdown among the Whitehorse players; Ryan Bachli spotted Daniel Li 6 points/game. Daniel took advantage of the spot in the first game winning 11-2. However, Ryan rose to the challenge and took the next two games in long, looping rallies 11-9, 11-8.

On Saturday, players competed for the Team Championships and the traveling trophies.

In the <1000 Division, five teams went head-to-head in round robin format playing two singles matches and one doubles match, which is call a Tie. The team winning two of the three matches wins the Tie. The Dawson Duel: Gerard Parsons and Emily Gaw, of Dawson City, went undefeated to take the Championship. Girls of Pong: Ava Partyka, Fairbanks, and Erin Sivitz, Anchorage, were 3-1 taking second. Third place went to the Fair Ladies: Carol Johnson and Aporn Stein, of Fairbanks. Fourth to Play On: Ruby Baxter and Vince Murlott. Fifth place went to Herb Sivitz from Anchorage, Betsy DeMay from Eagle River, and Dennis Hedgecock.

In the Open Teams the matches were extremely even as no team went undefeated. Moving on from the two round robin groups, of five teams each, was the first place team in each group. Third place was a tie with FITT Team of Dave DeMay/Vikas Sonawalkar and the Whitehorse Team of Ryan Bachli/Daniel Li.

Playing off in the Finals were the mother/son team of Party Pong: Doron and Eric Partyka of Fairbanks and the Klondike Smashers: Sam Crocker/Ethan Gaw of Dawson City. The format for the finals was best 3 of 5 matches/tie and 2 of 3 games/match. The first round of singles matched Doron with Ethan with Ethan edging the win 8-11, 11-9, 11-7. The singles match of Sam and Eric was also tight with Sam taking the match 7-11, 11-8, and 11-6. That setup a must win situation for the Party Pong. Party Pong took the first game 11-8 and the Klondike Smashers the second 11-7. In the third game, both teams traded point up to the tie at 7-7. The Smashers dominated the next three points to lead at 10-7. However, the Party Pong dug deep and worked their way back to duce at 10-10. Party Pong continued their streak winning the next two points and the match at 12-10, which delighted the Alaska Team to see more matches. With the Canadians leading 2 matches to 1, the last two singles matched took the stage. Doron matched up with Sam, which she won 8-11, 11-7, and 11-4. The final match was also close with Ethan winning over Eric 11-5, 11-13, 4-11, thus claimed the Open Team Title for the Klondike Smashers.

The “ Jerry Smith Spirit of the Game” Award was presented in Memory of Jerry Smith who passes away in February of 2009. Jerry loved Table Tennis and was a Co-Director of the first Alaska Yukon Challenge in Fairbanks 2008 and the 2009 winner of the <1000 Team Trophy. This year this special award went Scott Kennedy. Scott’s love of Table Tennis and his giving heart to help others is noteworthy. We are grateful for Scott’s help moving tables and equipment as well as setup. His efforts helped make this tournament a success. Even though Scott fights hard for every game point, he is a top sportsman no matter what side of the score he ends up on. Congratulations Scott!

Ryan’s Woodworking of Whitehorse contributed a Special Award this year. His artfully design Cutting Board with over 20 different hardwoods was presented to Betsy DeMay of Eagle River. Betsy was an eager volunteer for the Tournament, demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship, and stepped forward to make sure everyone was able to play in the Team Event. Congratulations Betsy! Thank you Ryan Bachli for making this award possible.

Mark your calendar as the 2018 Alaska-Yukon Challenge is being planned for June 15-16 in Dawson City, Yukon.