Penhold Crossing Secondary School Skyhawks badminton player Mason Love dives for a birdie during play at the central zone qualifiers at Lindsay Thurber on Monday afternoon. Along with Josh Linton, the duo won the junior boys title and qualified for provincials. (Photo by Byron Hackett/ Advocate Staff)

Notre Dame Cougars win 10 gold medals at zone badminton championships

More than half the gold medals awarded Monday at the zone badminton championships went to one school

It’s championship week on the Alberta high school badminton circuit and Monday the region’s best gathered at Lindsay Thurber to determine zone representatives at provincials next week.

Monday featured a flurry of action, with both junior, intermediate and senior players vying to represent their schools at 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A Alberta Schools Athletic Association Badminton Provincials that will take place in Red Deer on May 5 and 6. The top two finishers in each age group and category will play at provincials.

The Notre Dame Cougars cleaned up, winning 10 out of a possible 15 gold medals at the championships on Monday.

The Notre Dame Cougars mixed double squad of Avery Lajeunesse and Reid Howell won gold in three sets in junior play (13-21, 21-13, 21-14) over Erica Greenshields and Trevor Baron of Hunting Hills.

Notre Dame’s Rene Griese continued the trend of Cougar gold medals with a 21-18, 21-18 win over Hunting Hills’ Andrew Abey in intermediate boys singles action.

Another gold for Notre Dame came in intermediate mixed doubles, where Annie-Marie Purdy and Brian Pabilona downed Callie and Carter Braun from Lacombe 21-16, 21-14.

Notre Dame’s parade to the podium continued in intermediate doubles play, with both the girls and boys winning gold. Ben Leblanc and Ty Moline won handily 21-5, 21-10 over Derek Lofstrand and Flinn Pierson. On the girls side, Jenna Hollman and Janelle Agot also nabbed and easy win 21-7, 21-10 over the H.J. Cody pair of Taylor Ferguson and Megan Steenbergen.

The senior boys gold medal was Michael Yoo of Notre Dame, with 21-17, 21-18 win over Parker Saretsky of Wainwright.

Stacy Mabborang won the seventh gold of the day for the Cougars in a dominant 21-8, 21-2 win over Kristen Pylypow of Provost Public School.

On both the senior doubles brackets, Notre Dame added their eighth and ninth gold medals of the championship. Emily Downey and Denssyl Marijoboc won on the girls side 21-7, 21-6 on the girls side and Matthew Heron and Jaun Zuluaga captured the victory 21-13, 21-14 over SpruceView.

Tiegen Mattice of Notre Dame also won gold over Matthew Marshal of Hunting Hills.

Megan Paulgaard of St. Thomas Aquinas School in Provost was the intermediate girls winner 21-17, 21-15 over Hayley Lalor of Lindsay Thurber.

In Senior Mixed doubles play, Gina Sosnowski and Darin Fodor topped the Wetaskiwin duo of Katie Ballhorn and Quincy Buffalo.

In Junior Girls Singles play, Jasleen Kaur topped Tyler Vercaigne 21-3, 21-2.

On the doubles side for junior girls, the team of Victoria Brandon and Camrym Fodor beat Bella and Katie McKee 25-12, 25-23.

It went down to the wire in junior boys play as the Penhold Skyhawks duo of Mason Love and Josh Linton outlasted Tyler Watt and Krody Kopec of Notre Dame in three sets (19-21, 21-13, 21-18).

Provincials get underway May 5, at Lindsay Thurber, Notre Dame and Hunting Hills. Round robin play will start at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon at each school, with the semifinals expected to start at noon in their respective locations on Saturday.

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