Squash Tigers strike Gold at New Jersey Junior Gold with 21 Tigers bringing back 11 top ten results including nine quarter finals, four semis, two finals, one great winner…!
With Christmas coming, I feel like I should have added… “and a partridge in a pear tree”! But you get the idea!
This past weekend saw the pithily entitled New Jersey Junior Gold conducted at the highly regarded Pingry School (the Big Blue) and the ubiquitous nearby Lifetime Fitness. Many players were using the event itself as last minute preparation for next weekend's US Open and the draws were strong, deep and as always, filled with well trained and highly motivated youngsters.
From our team perspective the event in numbers read:
Twenty one Squash Tigers and a small crew of our frequent visitors
Eleven top Ten finishes
Nine quarter finalists
Five semi finalists
Two Finalists and
One glorious win!
Congratulations to Claire who won through a strong field to win the GU17. Claire has had quite the season with semi’s and quarters in GU15 JCT’s before aging up and now winning a gold almost straight away. The win was a suitable reward for hard work as Claire is one, if not the, hardest working Squash Tiger. The draw also saw Anya playing some of the excellent squash of which she is capable and finishing a strong 9th and frequent visitor Isabella making an excellent quarter despite still being eligible for the GU13! Congratulations girls!
The boys ruled the BU15, well, maybe not ruled, but certainly got a lot done! The headlines will read well, JJ made the final, Eric finished 3rd and Shrikar 5th - ridiculously good results from all three and brought huge smiles to the coaches faces. Recently aged up Tyler and Varish also battled away, and will benefit from the experience.
BU13 and BU11 saw some of our favorite players in action. Evan, Tony, Yidrew and Orlando are putting in the work every day and it’s not a question of whether they will get their breakthroughs, just when! Additionally our frequent ST visitor, Eric, riding high from a great Rehearsal Tournament, made a solid semi of the BU13, despite playing up! Well done mate!
BU17 saw Will prove himself to be the program iron man as he showed great toughness and perseverance, in addition to some smooth skills to battle to 10th position in what was a rough and tough draw. Ayan battled through some adversity to finally win out in his plate matches versus training buddies Leon and Adam - a bit of a drive to play guys he sees all the time, but that’s squash!
GU11 saw Mimi achieve a third place, following her consecutive wins in previous Golds, I’m sure she’ll be a little peeved, but it’s all learning and certainly still a good experience. Chloe made yet another top 8 and is improving all the time and Sriya stuck her toe in the water that is the Gold Tournament Level and arrived back motivated enough to still make Sunday afternoon squads!! Similarly GU15 saw ST visitor Erica make an impressive 3rd and Kayla battle through rounds in the consolation - bigger things ahead for both!
Next weekend sees the US Open conducted in central Philly at the National Centre, Penn and Drexel as well as suburban venues - which will enable us all to enjoy Philly traffic and a sense of happiness that we don’t make that drive frequently. We’ll have a team of Squash Tiger Coaches at the venues to cover our 20+ entries across all the divisions. For those players and others, a reminder that our Winter Camps kick off on Monday the 19th - a slight change to schedule and they are also open to drop-ins for our out of town friends. This week in squads the emphasis is on the Counter-Drop and match play for those preparing for the Open. Good luck to those of you who have School Squash commitments and we’ll see you on the courts soon!