Justin Slater joined the ranks of other three-time winners Saturday night as he defeated Nathan Walsh in the 2-out-of-3 final round to take the $1,000 prize, trophy and bragging rights as the World Crokinole Champion for 2016.
As the youngest player to ever win the championship (he was 17 in 2010 when he won his first title), Justin and Nathan were also the youngest players to play in the final round together.
Joe Fulop won the championship title three times in 2001, 2002 and 2004 while Brian Cook has won it four times in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2014. Jon Conrad won the title two years straight in 2012 and 2013.
Justin and his father, Fred Slater, also earned the doubles title this year.
Nathan Walsh earned second place in the competitive singles final. Nathan defeated Justin handily in the first round of the final, but Justin bounced back to take the second round in a tie-breaker, fifth game, then went on to dominate the third round.
“Nathan won on my hammer in the first round,” Justin recalled. Then in the second round, Justin missed a shot and while Nathan tried to take advantage, he also missed an open 20. “At that point there was a little more board play,” Justin said. “Nathan was like a machine in the first round,” Justin said, “but when I saw his hand shake, I knew he was only human. That’s when I knew I had it. I’ve have a little more experience in the final,” Justin added.
Nathan placed third in the 2014 championship and second in 2009. He was also the two-time Intermediate champion in 2006 and 2007.
Justin did his undergraduate studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is currently completing his Masters in Statistics at Queen's University in Kingston. He said he became a crokinole player as a result of completing community hours in Grade 11 while studying in the International Baccalaureate program.
Also in the final four of Competitive Singles play were Ray Beierling (2011 champion) who finished third and Raymond Kappes (2003 champion) placing fourth. Ray Beierling was also awarded the 20's trophy for recording 92 in the preliminary rounds.
Cor Vanden Hoven was named Recreational Champion with second place to Wayne Scott, third to Tyson Kuepfer and fourth to Trevor Grasby. Leon Wease had 66 20's to take home the trophy in that divison.
Andrew Hutchinson was the Cue Singles winner. Second place went to Joseph Ward, third to Wayne Kipfer and fourth to Josh Carrafiello. Mark Kuehl had 81 20's in the Cue Singles category, winning the trophy after a shoot out with Doug Schwartzentruber.
Beverley Vaillancourt once again took home the Karin Jeske Memorial Trophy for the top scoring female in the preliminary rounds with 44 points and 49 20's.
Abijah Jong won the Intermediate division with Kieran Johnston in second, Scott Torrance in third and Carmen Meijer in fourth place
Odai Alshared earned the Junior trophy while Jack Church was second, Jahjireh Jong third and Elliott Meijer fourth.
As mentioned above, Fred and Justin Slater placed first as Doubles champions. Second place went to the team of Jason and Ray Beierling; third to Nathan Walsh and Clare Kuepfer; and fourth to Ray Kappes and Kevin Bechtel.
The Consolation Doubles was won by Tom Johnston and Ab Leitch. Second place went to Dave and Matt Brown; third to Roy Campbell and Howard Martin; and fourth place to Dave Meijer and Kevin Brooks.
Joe and Jim Ward were the Cue Doubles champions with Dennis and Dave Brubacher in second place. Paul and Oscar Weber were third while Doug and Nyle Eby placed fourth.
In Consolation Cue Doubles, Andrew Hutchinson and David King were first; Carol and Carl Litt were second; Pauline Bender and Mark Kuehl were third; and Josh Carrafiello and Doug Schwartzentruber were fourth.
Brian Simpson and Mike Yourk captured the Recreational Doubles championship followed by Dwayne and Christine Campbell. Third place went to Jenn Carstairs and Bev Vaillancourt while fourth place went to Randy and Bill Harris.
Finally, the Consolation Doubles champions were Merv Wise and Jack Church. Kyle and Trevor Grasby placed second; Wayne Schroeder and John Quaiser were third and Demian and Kieran Johnston were fourth.
Early bird registrations, those received before April 30th, were put into a draw for official WCC jackets. The winners were Andrew Hutchinson of Kitchener and David Martel of Waterloo.
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