A good night’s sleep is often part of an athlete’s recipe to success, but less-than ideal-sleeping conditions didn’t seem to impact the play of Hamid Khosrowkiani.
The North Vancouver resident took home top prize in the Sea to Sky Squash tournament on the weekend after spending Friday (Feb. 15) night in a van by the river.
Khosrowkiani and his friend Farzin Habibpour made the trek from North Vancouver to Squamish and after a successful night of action on the courts on Friday, the duo decided to crash in their van in the parking lot of the Squamish Valley Golf Club (SVGC).
“We were both out so late and the hotels were a little expensive, so we just decided to sleep in the van,” Khosrowkiani said, laughing. “It was a pretty good night’s sleep but a little cold.”
The frigid conditions in the SVGC parking lot didn’t seem to matter as Khosrowkiani picked up the Men’s A division championship, besting Habibpour in the finals.
“It was a great tournament,” he said, noting that he heard about the event after being sent an email from a friend. “There are some very nice people here and I think we both had a lot of fun.”
The natives of Iran have been playing squash for eight years and are beginning to get noticed in the Vancouver scene. Playing out of the Evergreen Squash Club in North Vancouver, Khosrowkiani is ranked 31st in the province in the Senior Men’s competitive division, while Habibpour ranks 79th.
Khosrowkiani defeated Habibpour 3-1 to take the championship.
Two-time defending champion Rob Eberhard was not present to defend his title after suffering an Achilles injury. For his part, Khosrowkiani said he hopes to return next year to defend his crown.
“He was dying to play,” tournament organizer Steve Jacobs said of Eberhard. “But he didn’t want to aggravate his injuries.”
Jacobs said it was another successful year for the tournament, with 45 entrants hitting the courts and a fun atmosphere throughout the weekend.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I noticed through the whole weekend that there was lots of smiling faces and really good camaraderie. When I started today [Sunday, Feb. 17] the first guy I spoke to went to bed at 3 a.m. on Saturday night and the next one said he got to bed at 4 a.m.”
He said the SVGC did a great job hosting all weekend long and also thanked Quest University for allowing the tournament’s use of the school’s squash courts on Friday night.
Jacobs said one of the highlights on the court was Squamish’s Paul Sutton taking Habibpour to the limit in the A semifinal, losing 3-2. Doug Bowdler, another tournament organizer, agreed with Jacobs that it was a fun weekend. He noted the C division winner and Squamish resident Mark Kerschbaumer as someone who really stepped up his game.
“Mark won the C and he really came through large,” he said. “He played well all weekend and I think it was a really good win for him.”
Jemma Phillips from Nanaimo beat out Squamish’s Lisa Parfiniuk in the Ladies A final, with Lousie Schell of Squamish beating out Vancouver’s Allison Oxton in the Ladies B. Squamish’s Meredith Hinchmongh defeated Christine Woolfries from Vancouver in the Ladies C.
Other men’s winners included Chris Runnels of Squamish beating Squamish’s Brian Pollock in the Men’s B final and Sonny Mameli of Squamish winning the Men’s D division.
Jacobs added that activity is still buzzing at the club, with the spring league starting this month, ladies night each and every Thursday and drop-in competition on Friday nights. For more info on the club, visit www.squamishsquash.com.