Five local students compete at badminton provincials

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Athabasca, Grassland and Boyle all send students to competition

Athabasca students Taylor Pente and Julia Cygan competed together at the Alberta Provincial Badminton Championships May 4-5 and said they were happy with how they finished despite not reaching the podium.

The senior girls badminton duo from Edwin Parr Composite School went to provincials in Grimshaw, alongside fellow senior girls doubles players Ayva Bossel and Shae Pisarewski of Grassland School, as well as senior girls singles player Maria Antal of Boyle School.

The Athabascan duo made it to the Pool A playoff with a 2-1 record May 4, but were ousted in the quarterfinals the next day, according to Pente.

Pente said despite the loss, it was an enjoyable experience.

“We had lots of fun. We laughed every game. We kept a smile on our face, even if we’re losing,,” Pente said in an interview.

Cygan said she was happy about the outcome of making it to the higher playoff. But there was a noticeable difference in skill in the quarterfinals, she said.

“For us, it was just an experience to go to provincials. The team that we played with, they actually were aiming to win the competition,” Cygan said in an interview.

The Athabasca duo lost in straight sets in the best-of-three match in the quarterfinals.

“It was a pretty short game, I would say,” Cygan said.

Pente said she was happy to have had some success at provincials and lamented the end of her high school competitive badminton career.

“I wish I had one more year,” Pente, a Grade 12 student, said. “I love doing badminton and I love the competitive. Everyone’s so nice too. Really good sportsmanship.”

Cygan, a Rotary exchange student from Poland leaving Athabasca in July, said she got into badminton in an effort to experience as much as possible.

“I’ve never been in such competition before, so it was pretty amazing to me,” Cygan said.

Boyle student gets bronze

Boyle School student Maria Antal competed in the senior girls singles category and earned a bronze medal in the Pool B playoff.

“I didn’t think I was going to win so it’s pretty cool, because badminton’s hard,” Antal said.

After just missing the cut for the Pool A side of the competition after round robin play with a 1-2 record, Antal said her Pool B quarterfinals opponent did not show up, automatically advancing her to the semifinals.

She would lose in the semifinals, but go on to win in the bronze medal match in straight sets, by scores of 21-17 and 21-15.

“It was pretty exciting going there and seeing all these amazing players,” Antal said.

Grassland’s senior girls doubles badminton team, Bossel and Pisarewski, were placed in the Pool B playoff, Cygan said, and were also ousted in their first playoff match.

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Joseph Quigley