Updated: Oct 16
The 2023 Arlen Specter Philadelphia Junior Championships, the second JCT of the season, was conducted this past weekend at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. 288 of the country's highest ranked players in all ten age groups made the trek to Philadelphia and amongst them were 17 of our Squash Tiger best and brightest! When the dust settled we had one glorious winner, and six players in the top five of their respective age groups. An outstanding effort, and congratulations to everyone!
Long story short, Reghan was once again our standout MVT (Most Valuable Tiger), winning her second consecutive GU17 JCT Title. Winning one JCT title is difficult, two in a row is exponentially more so and Reghan has set the bar high for everyone to aspire towards this season. Reghan defeated Isabella (don’t call me Bella) in the final with Claire finishing 5th. BU17 saw Colton 4th and Parth 5th, JJ led the BU15 with his 5th place and Yiden was our sole BU11 representative and finished 8th!
Before we do a deep dive into the results, for those new to the scene, let’s start at the beginning as we always should, and a quick word on what a JCT is…
"the highest level of junior tournament, which attracts the best players from around the entire country. US Squash accredits 5 JCT tournaments each year and each event is played over the course of three full days.”
Long story short, the best 32 players from each age group get together and test each other out roughly once a month in season… it doesn’t get more fun than that! The most compelling Tiger Tale of the weekend was the GU17. Reghan won her second consecutive GU17 JCT title, this time without dropping a game. Congratulations to Isabella in making her first GU17 final, defeating Claire in a nail biting quarter final 3/2. Claire also had a great event in her own right, fighting through the consols to finish 5th. Our other GU17 participants were Stephanie and Lily, who lost out to Reghan and Claire respectively in the main draw. It’s an unfortunate part of “the luck of the draw”, but we had five Tiger VS Tiger matchups in the girls draw. That’s one record we don’t want to repeat (unless it’s in the quarters and onwards)! The BU17 was led by Colten, who had a series of momentous matches on the way to his first BU17 semi-final. Indisputably, Colten won the match of the tournament in his 94 minute second round five game match. That second round match included a 43 minute forth game that he lost 19-17 before rebounding to run away with the fifth showing remarkable character. In yet another Tiger vs. Tiger matchup, Parth defeated Alex in the second round, in another five game “barn burner", and went on to his best ever JCT performance, finishing fifth after being defeated by the event winner in the quarter finals. Alex eventually finished in 13-16 position and his will be another day… roll on the West Coast JCT!
JJ, Eric and Jasmine were our U15 representatives. Backing up from his solid first JCT, JJ again made a quarter final and this time fought out the consols to finish 5th, playing impressive and eye-catching squash throughout. Eric on his behalf also played well, finishing his final BU15 JCT before aging up in 13-16 position. Jasmine was also in her final JCT before the U17’s beckon and was her usual effortful and bouncy self!
Our sole BU11 saw Yiden finishing top 8, statistically his best performance of the season. The U13’s were also impressive, with Meredith achieving 9th position, Eric in 13-16 and Mimi enjoying two solid wins in a much improved outing from Connecticut. Last, but not least, our U19 crew, Sean and Maryam, were their usual tough and effortful selves. Sean had a huge 0.2 ratings upset in the consols. Maryam on her behalf, played strongly and enjoyed two solid wins on the way to a 13-16 finish. Not our highest finishers, but certainly great role models on and off the court for our younger Squash Tigers!
Next month the “JCT circus” moves on to San Francisco with the team in search of further success. Nearer to home we have our second Rehearsal Tournament coming up on October 21 and next weekend a large team off to the Atlanta Gold. The season is in full swing, and candidly, looking pretty darn good! See you all at training!