Morning Star Staff
Vernon’s Jeremy Bell rang up a pair of titles in the Kalamalka Country Club’s 103rd Okanagan Valley Labour Day Tennis Championships last weekend.
Bell, 45, first entered this tournament in 2005 and has now won the A doubles crown five times with four different partners after combining with Kelowna teen Calvin Thalheimer for victory in a round-robin format.
Thalheimer, 14, showed great maturity in strategy and shot selection as he and Bell won by one game over James Nearing and Jim Condon of Prince George. Jerry Reinhardt and Jason Shumay, both of Vernon, placed fifth.
In the A singles final, Bell stopped Nearing 6-4, 6-3 for his first Labour Day singles crown. That was sweet for Bell since Nearing had defeated him last season in a Kamloops event shortly after Bell had moved to Prince George from Ontario.
“Spectators were entertained to many close matches and exciting tennis,” said longtime tourney director Ray Kimoto, assisted by Gordon Mann. “Thanks to the hard working committee members Karalee Drdul, Dave Valouch, Gary Davidson, Mark Corbett and Alice Kimoto.”
The A singles consolation final saw Reid Clarke of Calgary (Vernon) brush back Pip Walters of Kelowna 7-6, 6-7, 7-5.
Steve Pastor (Kelowna) defeated Ian McHarg (Vernon), 6-4, 6-1 in the men’s B singles championship, while Ben Johnson of Winfield bounced Blake McLeod of Vernon 6-1, 6-1 in the consolation final.
The ladies’ B singles was dominated by Susie Walker of Prince George as she defeated Marnie Perrier of Kelowna, 6-1, 6-3.
The consolation winner was Shannon Johnson of Winfield over Camilo Souto of Prince George, 6-2, 6-3.
In the ladies’ A doubles, Meryl Ogden (Vernon) and Rosie Schaich (Kelowna) took the title by outlasting Eva Koksalova (Kelowna) and Audrey Chu (Kelowna), 3-6, 6-5, 10-4 in a marathon thriller.
Consolation prizes went to Nancy Condon (Prince George) and Fran Mann (Kelowna) as they won over Walker and Souto 6-0, 6-2.
The men’s B doubles featured an all-Vernon final with Dave Valouch and Morris Vardabasso dispatching Mark Corbett and Reid Clarke 6-1, 4-6, 10-8.
In mixed A doubles, where seven teams played a round-robin, Rosie and Joe Schaich (Kelowna) topped the table at 5-1. Third place went to Meryl Ogden and Ralph Stevens of Vernon.
There were five entries in the mixed B doubles where the Vernon pair of Judi MacIntosh and Gary Edwards placed first at 4-0. Third place went to Vernon’s Karalee Drdul and Blake McLeod.
Kimoto also praised club members who donated snacks, caretaker Lee Noonan, and to sponsor Voets Coffee.