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International Racquetball Tour legend Kane Waselenchuk makes stop in Billings

Posted at 1:59 PM, Apr 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-06 18:06:57-04

BILLINGS — The second annual Winter Classic hosted by the Billings Racquetball Club has drawn some star power this year.

Several International Racquetball Tour pros graced the courts at the YMCA this weekend, headlined by 15-time U.S. Open champion Kane Waselenchuk, who picked up the game at 2 years old growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

“We had a lot of mom and pop type racquetball clubs. A lot more of a homey, everybody in a tight-knit group and everybody friends. It was really nice to have that," Waselenchuk told MTN Sports. "A lot of the courts back then where I played had all right-wall glass, then there would be a bar on the other side. People would drink at the bar and watch as the tournament went on, so it was a really cool atmosphere."

Even this deep into his career Waselenchuk is still a master of his profession. He’s about a year and a half out of tearing his right Achilles, the most severe of his injuries, and he can feel Father Time starting to creep up.

“Even though I'm 42 I've got to be careful because my body is more like a 50- or 55-year-old. Even though I don't feel like it, it's got a lot of miles on it," Waselenchuk said. "Right now I'm just trying to delay the inevitable. I know that I'm on the later end of my career, so I've really got to focus on recovery and listening to my body and knowing when to go and when not to go."

Waselenchuk also took advantage of his first trip to Montana in over 30 years, getting back to a little bit of his roots over the weekend.

“This tournament I've been very fortunate. I got to go to Red Lodge and have lunch and hang out. Mountains are my thing. Growing up two hours from the mountains in Edmonton with Banff and Kananaskis, obviously it's good for my soul," Waslenechuk said.

Waselenchuk also became a first-time grandfather on Friday, so it’s been quite a whirlwind weekend in Billings. He’ll head back home to Texas for about a month off before his next tournament stop in California.