IRT McNamara Minnesota Racquetball Hall of Fame Tournament Preview

Montoya is the defending champion Chicago: can he repeat? Photo Kevin Savory 2022 Portland IRT event

Welcome to the 35th annual (and 2nd time in a row that it’s had an IRT component) Minnesota Hall of Fame event. If you want to read why its called “McNamara,” go to the r2sports home page where the tourney organizers have a little history lesson that goes a long way to showing why Minnesota is one of the best supporting states for racquetball out there.

R2 Sports App link:

There’s 32 men in this draw, including a slew of internationals that we don’t normally see in IRT draws. This generally happens just ahead of international competitions, and with PARC in a few weeks we see confederations like Canada, Chile, Bolivia, and Guatemala (still listed as “Zambia” in r2sports thanks to Guatemala’s non-recognition right now by IOC) sending their players here to get a tune-up.

There’s been a huge shake-up in the rankings since the end of the last event. The Feb2023 Atlanta grand slam expired off the books, and the results of the top four players from that event dropped off with major implications. When we last left off, the top 4 (and their points from Atlanta) were:

1. De la Rosa (600; won Atlanta)

2. Jake (450: finalist in Atlanta)

3. Moscoso: 0: missed Atlanta)

4. Montoya (135 – quarter final loss in Atlanta)

After Atlanta expired, your new top 4 (and the top 4 driving the seeding here) became:

1. Moscoso: rose up quickly w/o any points to defend.

2. Montoya: had relatively few points to lose

3. Jake

4. DLR

So Daniel sees his ranking plummet … and he’s missing from this event. It’s not due to a PPA conflict, so he must have another event or is making a conscious choice to not be here. After his 16s loss in the last event and missing this event, along with the distinct lack of IRT events on the books, his chances of repeating as #1 are basically over.

Also noteworthy: Kane has jumped up from 17 to 14, again having zero points expiring from Atlanta. And, thanks to three players in the top 13 missing (DLR, #6 Murray, and #8 Portillo), Kane gets an #11 seed here. #11 is a great seed to have if you’re in the mood for upsets (just ask George Mason, who raced to the final four as the #11 seed).


Let’s preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:

In the 32s:

– #5 Adam Manilla gets up and coming Bolivian former junior world champ #28 Hector Barrios in what looks like the most competitive possible top 8 match in the 32s. The last time Barrios played an IRT event, he beat Sebastian Franco along with Wer and Cuevas, so he can get wins.

– #12 @Robert Collins gets the always-tough Minnesotan John Goth , who has more than a few tour scalps on his belt. Goth regularly plays with the Bredenbecks and stays sharp despite not touring regularly, but beating a tour vet is a little different than training with one.

– #3 Jake Bredenbeck faces off against Bolivian junior @Jhonatan Flores , who just won the world 18U junior title last November without dropping a single game. It’ll be interesting to see what Flores can do against a top pro like Jake.

– #15 Sam Bredenbeck gets a fun one against #18 Chilean national team member Rafael Gatica


round of 16:

– The 8/9 match, which has seen Acuna vs Natera a bunch of times lately, gets us @TCarter Thomas and Kadim Carrasco . At #8 this is Carter’s highest ever pro seeding (he was #9 a few times in the past), and at #9 this is by far Carrasco’s highest ever seeding (previously best was #14). so we’re definitely seeing some impact to the departure of a slew of long-time players in the seeds. I like Carter here.

– 5-12 gives us a rare lefty-lefty between Manilla and Collins.

– #11 Waselenchuk gets #6 Andres Acuna in the 16s. These two played recently and Acuna got the first game before falling; can he repeat the task and set down Kane early? Not likely, but Acuna will have gained confidence from his game-plan success the last time they played.

– #10 Erick Trujillo will fancy his chances to upset #7 Alan Natera , who like many here this weekend has his highest ever IRT seed. Trujillo has the hot hand though and I like him to get to the quarters.


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Conrrado Moscoso , who has a very easy first two rounds, should cruise past #8 Carter to move to the semis.

– #4 @Andree Parrilla should advance past Adam Manilla . They’ve only played 3 times, Andree is 2-1, but is coming off a big-time win at Mexican Nationals.

– #3 Bredenbeck vs #11 Kane. Tough one to predict. They played in Boston last November and Jake beat a tiring Kane in the breaker, but had to save a match point against to even get past game 2. Since then, he’s taken a couple of uncharacteristic losses on tour (losing to Andree, Lalo, and Trujillo). Meanwhile, Kane has struggled since his return to make it through events: In Boston last Nov he tired in the semis losing to jake, then in Pleasanton after beating Conrrado game one he got blasted 4,4, then he retired in South Dakoda due to a leg issue. I think Jake can win here.

– #2 @Rodrigo Montoya over Trujillo: these two just played in the semis of Mexican Nats, a 6,6,9 relatively straight forward win for Montoya. Rodrigo will be looking to bounce back from his missing out on the Mexican team for this cycle. Montoya was the winner her last year (his first ever win), and has the most points to defend, but seems well positioned to at least get to the semis.


– Conrrado over Parrilla: there’s a gulf between these two right now.

– Montoya over Jake: Amazingly, they havn’t played since Oct 2022 despite being seeded right next to each other for a while. Montoya leads 5-4 career and has won their last 2 meetings. Montoya likes these courts and is the defending champ. Last time they played it was 13,14 … so not much between them. Flip a coin and I’ll go Rodrigo.


– I think 2024 is Moscoso’s year, and without having to face Kane until a possible final at the end of a long weekend (even if it was Kane in the final) is advantage Conrrado. He wins again and stretches his lead at the top.


Doubles review

No Javier Mar, so no #1 Montoya/Mar pairing at the top. Montoya picks up Canadian Cullen and probably loses early, clearing the way for newly crowned Mexican champ (paired with Adam Manilla here) to cruise into the final. They’ll have to contend with likely the Bredenbeck brothers to get there. From the bottom, nothing should stop Bolivian national team Moscoso/Carrasco. The final will see Carrasco get isolated and Parrilla/Manilla taking the title.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for Favio Soto and Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!


International Racquetball Tou r

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