The 2015 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic high school junior badminton champion in girls’ doubles is “T-squared.”
That’s the convenient name tournament conveners Christina Barbati and Jessica Lamparski used for the Cardinal Newman Cardinal sister combination of Mo and Mim Trangkanukoolkit when court assignments were being announced on the public address system Wednesday (May 6).
The tournament attracted several hundred players from six schools and was held at the F. H. Sherman Recreation Centre.
“People have trouble spelling our last name,” Grade 9 student Mo Trangkanukoolkit said with a laugh. “That’s why they call us T-squared.”
There are three Trangkanukoolkit sisters currently attending Newman. They are staying with an aunt in Canada and will be returning to their native Thailand each summer and then again when they graduate from university.
“I can’t pronounce their last name even though I’ve taught two of them,” said Newman coach Tom Campanella. “They’re all very good artists. They’re sweet, too. They like to bow. I find myself bowing to them, as well.”
Mo credited her older sister Mim – a Grade 10 student – for spearheading the winning performance. “We’ve been in Canada for nine months,” Mo said. “I’ve never played in a tournament before.”
In other action, the St. Thomas More Knights captured the overall team championship for the third time in the past five years. The St. Mary Crusaders came second.
St. Thomas More wins came in boys’ singles (Ryan Wallace), girls’ singles (Deere Llandino) and boys’ doubles (Michael Morosin/Justin Vucicevic).
“Both Michael and Justin played singles last year,” said More coach Kyle Berdan. “They are very talented. This year, I was going to have Justin play singles and Michael play in mixed doubles until they asked me if they could play doubles together. I told them they’d better win. They’re doing a good job of fulfilling my wishes.”
Berdan said Wallace’s 2-0 victory over St. Mary’s Daniel Kim was a “high quality” and entertaining final, particularly for the junior age-group. Wallace was able to successfully keep Kim pinned in the backcourt and to his backhand. That led to points off drop shots or smashes.
“My main game is basketball,” said Wallace, a member of the Knights’ championship midget basketball team this season. “My dad taught me and coached me (at the YMCA and local recreation centres). I like the fast pace of this game and the skill required to play it. It’s like tennis but an indoor easier version of it.”
Llandino, a Grade 10 student, took the girls’ singles final over Sofia Pasquini of Cardinal Newman. Last month, Llandino’s older brother, Jed Jay, was part of the More boys’ doubles championship duo at the HWCAA senior tournament.
In mixed doubles, it was one St. Mary Crusaders pairing versus another. Ethan Biffis and his sister, Alannah, got past Mitch Gordon and Rosie O’Sullivan.
Ming Chong, who has coached St. Mary for three years, also saw three of his boys’ singles entries finish in the top four.
“We’re getting a lot of kids and they’re making it farther than ever,” Chong said.