After a busy weekend, three big pieces of news in the ST World, the British Junior Open, the Penn Gold and our own Rehearsal Tournament (reportage here) … not by any means equals, but chronologically together, so let’s deal with it!
Firstly, congratulations to Alex, JJ and Reghan on being selected by US Squash to participate in the British Junior Open - a suitable reward in a season that saw Alex rise to 3 in the country, JJ winning two JCT’s and Reghan continuing to be a frequent occupier of the #1 ranking slot! On that note, an early "Happy Birthday to Alex", who has his U/17th birthday later this week before the Mid-Atlantic JCT - the young man is a picture of sportsmanship and effort every day.
Back to the British Junior Open … The BJO the most prestigious junior event in the World, outside the World Junior Championships. As the World Juniors only have one division, U19, the BJO is often seen as the defacto World Champs for the other age groups. The USA team performed remarkably well, with 50 kids attending, 15 quarter finalists, 5 semi finalists and 2 winners. Factoring in that December/January is a particularly rough time for our scholar/athletes, this is even more impressive and points to the general strength of the game in the USA at the moment.
Back in the domestic world, the second Philly Gold of the season was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and saw a dozen intrepid Squash Tigers make the trek down the I95 in their search for match play, points, trophies and perhaps a Philly cheesesteak(?) Fair to say, almost everyone got three out of four accomplished, which candidly isn’t a bad ratio!
The headline performance was Eric making the final of the BU15’s. Eric's performance was the standout of the weekend, making the final in fine style as part of a great preparation for next weekend's Mid-Atlantic JCT. As I remarked in another post, the Mid-Atlantic JCT does sound like something played on a boat, but it really is the next JCT in our nation's capital next weekend! Angela, Eric, Tyler and Jonathan also did big things. Angela played great squash, fighting her way through the consolation to finish top 10, with Tyler and Jonathan gaining valuable experience having recently aged up.
The U11’s are the bedrock of our Squash Tigers program, and the bedrock went well this weekend. Evan, Chloe and Sriya were our representatives in the two draws. In a weekend of notable performances, Sriya defeating another young lady rated 0.5 ahead of her was a highlight - and quite statistically improbable. A good reward for all her hard work of late. Similarly Chloe finished top 8 and Evan gained some great experience in the big leagues!
The U13’s saw Yidrew, Leo and Allen step into the fray. All three are also relatively inexperienced at the Gold level and acquitted themselves well. Edward and Anya were our U17 reps. Anya, in the toughest of draws took a game from the #1 seed and proceeded to make a solid run in the consolation while Edward, having recently aged up, got a feel for the tempo required to be successful at that next age group.
Next week we have a dozen of our best and brightest players at the Mid-Atlantic JCT, (spoiler, no, not on a boat) so a big week of preparation for that ahead and a volley boasting theme… as always, never a better time to be a Squash Tiger! See you all at the club!