What a great weekend it was to be a Squash Tiger, with Penn Assistant Coach Stuart Crawford leading up a fantastic Saturday training experience for our players at the club and 17 of our crew doing magnificent things down south in the DC Gold!
The Squash on Fire Junior Gold was conducted this past weekend in Washington DC. The event itself was conducted at three venues, George Washington University, the University Club and of course, Squash on Fire itself. On a personal note, I have always been fond of Squash on Fire as a club since its inception. Built on a Fire Station, hence the delightful name, it is a beautiful architectural club to look at and even has a great logo… add to that package, their current Squash Director Ronny Vlassaks, one of the unique characters in the world of squash and you have a venue par excellence.
As befits a Memorial Day Long weekend, the court conditions were, well, hot. Darn hot. A test of conditioning and willpower, both of which should be strong in our Squash Tiger contingent. Seventeen of our best and brightest members and cohorts contested the ten divisions and delivered some great results while showing the highest standards of sportsmanship. Illustrative of the quality of both play and performance is that I received texts and emails from people I haven’t even met yet, praising both the technical capacity and good behavior of our team. I couldn’t be prouder, well done all!
All in all we had eight of the crew in the top eight of all respective events. A pleasing symmetry if there was ever one.
JJ as he so often is, was the lead story, winning the BU15 in fine style. The former BU13 #1, and most improved BU15 of last season went in as number one seed and went out with the trophy. Never easy to win as the favorite, and we were all impressed with his capacity to deliver. Making it even better, big brother Sean made the semi-finals of the BU19 - a great weekend for the family! Back to the BU15 and Eric enjoyed his usual marathons, there is truly never a dull moment when he is in action and he finished a solid 5th.
The U17’s saw Colten finish runner up to perennial National Champ Jack Elriani in a marathon final. Never nice to lose, but an awesome contest and well, we’ll get ‘em next time mate. Similarly, but differently, Isabella (don’t call me Bella) was the RU in the GU17. The U13 National Champ can’t be too disappointed in her performance, but it did indicate the depth of the girls game at the top levels and her uber talented little bro Eric finished 5th in the BU15 - some very talented siblings in the squash world.
BU11 is often our favorite and there was no change with Yiden and Evan finishing 5th and 6th, with the somewhat younger Tony in 11/12 and Jesse in 13th. A real delight is watching this crew get better and better with every week and every tournament and the sky's the limit.
Some of our hardest Spring workers also had notable performances, Tisha did well in a tough draw to finish 10th in the GU17, Anika likewise in the GU19 finished 11/12. Well done ladies.
Final shout outs to Jonathan, Meredith, Edward and Yidrew who had their ups and downs, but won tough matches and must have gained much from the long weekend. They are amongst our most improved players this season and while everyone wants that #1 spot, squash is a marathon, not a sprint and there will be other opportunities on the horizon!
This coming weekend will see our final Rehearsal Event of the season, with draws almost all full, this will be your last reminder to enter! Excitingly, we have the Princeton Assistant Coach, Alan Clyne, graciously making himself available to play the event and give our players some high level pointers and it promises to be a superb day. Also, a reminder that our early Summer Camps start this coming Thursday, June 1 - with sign ups open on our dedicated webpage.
Never a better time to be a Squash Tiger - see you at the club soon!