Squash player teams up for gold medal
Albert Winter Games: Okotoks’ Austin Des Mazes undefeated in helping Calgary take title
Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 06:00 am
Stellar as an individual, standing tall as a teammate.
Okotoks squash player Austin Des Mazes went undefeated at the Alberta Winter Games in helping Zone 3 (Calgary) win the gold medal in the mixed team event at the Alberta Winter Games in Fort McMurray on Feb. 16-19.
“I won every single one of my games,” said Des Mazes, a Grade 8 student from St. John Paul II Collegiate. “My first match was probably my toughest one.”
Get the tough stuff over early.
Des Mazes downed Zone 4’s Alexander Elsner in three straight games in his opening match.
“But he gave me a run for my money,” Des Mazes said. “I beat him 12-10, 11-9 and 11-5.”
He did it by finding and then taking advantage of minor weaknesses in his opponent’s game.
“He wasn’t the best at getting drives out of the back of the court,” Des Mazes said. “Any time I got him back there, I was usually able to get the point.”
Des Mazes added retrieving balls from the back of the court is commonly a difficult shot for squash players.
There was no turning back for Des Mazes or Zone 3. He went on to sweep his remaining matches — finishing a perfect 4-0 at the Games — in helping Calgary win the gold medal.
It was the first time Des Mazes had played in a team format.
“It was an amazing experience to go up there and fun to play different people — I wasn’t disappointed in at all,” Des Mazes said. “I liked the teamwork. It wasn’t just a solid person. Everybody had to do well if the team wanted to play well.”
Zone 3 consisted of four male and two female players.
Des Mazes played for Zone 3 as a result of being a member of the Mount Royal University Squash Club.
Zone 3 swept Zone 5 (Black Gold-Yellowhead) in the final.
Below: Alberta Winter Games medal results. Athletes are from Okotoks unless otherwise indicated.
Team Event — Zone 3, 2nd, Emiko Antal, Nicole Wieland; Zone 2, 3rd, Lionel Chong, Evonne Henning, Emilia Hyland, Connor Johanson, Adrianna Stog, Xander Zwanepoel
Female singles — Henning, 2nd
Female doubles — Zone 2, 2nd, Stog; Zone 3, 3rd, Antal, Wieland
Males doubles — Zone 2, Johanson.
Team Squash — Zone 3, 1st, Austin Des Mazes
Artistic Gymnastics JO6 vault — Mia Dionne, 1st
Female volleyball — Zone 2, 2nd, Liana Greenshields, Payton Hiebert, Holly Carver (Priddis), Claire Sweeney (DeWinton)
Male hockey — Zone 2, 1st, Will Harris, Caleb Lepitre, Geoff Rollins