r2sports home page for all the brackets: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39341
Congrats to your @USA Racquetball Junior National winners on the weekend. Champions were crowned in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles for six age groups on the weekend, so lots of champions to recognize.
This post is official notification that we’ve added the data to the database at www.proracquetballstats.com . This is the first time we’ve had a 21U junior division, so we’ve also made a bunch of coding changes to the behavior of the site. Please let us know if you see any issues or cannot see data as expected.
A reminder on our data entry policies for juniors: we put in full brackets for 14+ and older divisions, just the finalists for younger divisions, and just the finalists for doubles. The finalists of each Singles division and the Champions of each Doubles division qualify for the US Junior National team, and have first right of refusal to compete at Worlds in November. Singles
Boys 21U: Micah Farmer
Boys 18U: Josh Shea
Boys 16U: Nikhil Prasad
Boys 14U: Nathan Rykus
Boys 12U: Vaishant Mangalampalli
Boys 10U: Noah Jakola
Girls 21U: Annie Roberts
Girls 18U: Heather Mahoney
Girls 16U: Naomi Ros
Girls 14U: Andrea Perez-Picon
Girls 12U: Aarya Shetty Boys/Girls Doubles
Boys 21U: Assuan Castaneda & Micah Farmer
Boys 18U: Josh Shea & Paul Saraceno
Boys 16U: Gatlin Sutherland & Nikhil Prasad
Boys 14U: Eshan Ali & Nathan Rykhus
Boys 12U: Lucas Frost-Biskup & Vaishant Mangalampalli
Girls 21U: Graci Wargo & Shane Diaz
Girls 18U: Heather Mahoney & Julia Stein
Girls 16U: Ava Kaiser & Naomi Ros
Girls 14U: Aarya Shetty & Sarah Bawa Mixed Doubles
Mixed 21U: Shane Diaz & Micah Farmer
Mixed 18U: Heather Mahoney & Timmy Hansen
Mixed 16U: Naomi Ros & Cole Sendrey
Mixed 14U: Montserrat Torres & Axel Lopez
Mixed 12U: Aarya Shetty & Vaishant Mangalampalli
The best ways to see all the winners in one place are via the Junior Matrix Reports at the website. Click here: https://rball.pro/mey for the Boys Junior winner’s matrix for all USA junior titles, dating back to 1974. Click here: https://rball.pro/cpf for the same report for the Girls.
However, for each of the singles draws you can see all the match results by pulling down the event at the main Junior home page. Go here, then hit the event pulldown: http://rb.gy/rnps1f
Here’s some commentary on the Boys singles divisions one by one. Boys 21U: Micah Farmer held serve as the #1 seed and held off #4 Castenada in a 5-gamer in the semis and then Elkins in the final for the win. Boys 18U came down to #1 vs #2 as predicted, and they played a barn burner. NY’s Josh Shea cruised to the first two games to make it look like it’d be laugher, but defending champ @Timmy Hansen took the next two to force the 5th. There, Shea ground out an 11-7 win for his first Junior National title. Boys 16U came down to 1v2 in the final, and #1 Nikhil Prasad had to come back from 2-1 games down to secure the title over #2 @Gatlin Sunderland. Prasad repeats as 16U champ and secures his 7th career junior national singles title. Boys 14U has a new titlist, as #2 Nathan Rykhus moved up from 12U and defeated the defending champion #1 Eshan Ali in a 5-game barn burner. This is Rykhus’ third junior singles title, and interestingly his 3rd in a row in new age groups. Boys 12U was 1v2 in the final, with Fremont’s Vaishant Mangalampalli taking his first junior national title over #2 seed Alejandro Robles Pico.
Boys 10Udb’s RR group was taken by Texan Noah Jakola. Fellow Texan Fernando Miguel Carpena finished 2nd.
Here’s some thoughts on the Girls Singles draws: Girls 21U: @Annie Roberts took the solid RR group, with wins over fellow LPRT part timers like Diaz, Wargo, and Perez-Picon. Solid win. Girls 18U Heather Mahoney returned to the winner’s circle, topping #2 Julia Stein in the final to secure her 9th Junior National title and her first since 2019. She can’t reach the all-time record for junior titles by a US Female (@Adrienne Haynes with 11) but she can get close with one more 18U title. Girls 16U was taken by #1 @Naomi Ros to repeat as 16U titlist. She topped #2 Ava Kaiser in the final. Ros now holds 2 US junior national titles and at least 2 Mexican Junior National titles in younger ages (our records are incomplete). Girls 14U was taken by #1 Andrea Perez-Picon in dominant fashion, without dropping a game. She secures her 6th US Junior National title and has a chance at the all-time record if she can run the table here on out. Girls 12U was taken by Arya Shetty, who won the 4-person RR. Girls 10U was won by Anum Mitha, who topped Anna Sikorski h2h for the title.
We also capture Junior Doubles data, but only the winners of the draws going back in time. https://rball.pro/o0y
Click on the PRS home page for Junior Doubles results and you can pull up winners by division.
Congrats to all the new members of the Junior National team. They qualify to represent the US at World Juniors in November, which apparently will be at the new facility in Guatemala City (though the IRF has not officially announced the site).
Thanks to @Connor Shane for running the event, thanks to Leo Vazquez for streaming and broadcasting all weekend.
Next up? Per our handy master racquetball calendar … https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/ Next up on the Racquetball calendar is a break for the 4th of July weekend, then the World Games happen in Birmingham from 7/10 to 7/13, then the big Outdoor Nationals happens in Huntington Beach!
We’re back on the US National tournament circuit, a month past May’s Singles and Doubles, and this time we’re in Des Moines, IA for the 48th annual @USA Racquetball Junior Nationals tournament. First held in 1974 in San Diego, the first Boys 18U winner was one Jerry Zuckerman, who went on to play in 39 pro events throughout the 1970s. The second ever junior nationals 18U division was won by none other than @Marty Hogan , who of course would go on to quickly start adding Pro titles to his resume and who changed the course of the sport. The Girls didn’t start having divisions until 1978, and the first Girls 18U champ was Lislie Lindskog. 101 participants are in Iowa this weekend, a nice improvement over last year’s junior turnout, and they’re in for a ton of racquetball. R2sports link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39341
Click here for Junior matrix Reports which show every winner for every year in one place:
Boys US Junior National champs: http://rb.gy/pju5me
Girls US junior national champs: http://rb.gy/lucca0 Junior tournaments are like previewing 20 individual tournaments, since you’re talking about multiple age group draws, so here’s a few words about each of the singles draws: Boys 21U: The relatively new 21U division has 7 players playing it, headlined by #1 seed Micah Farmer. I suspect it will be an upset if Farmer doesn’t take it. Boys 18U features four names familiar to most pro rball fans; #1 seed Timmy Hansen (son of Hall of Famer Tim Hansen), #2 seed New Yorker Josh Shea , #3 seed lefty Iowa’n @AnAndrew Gleason , and #4 seed Texan @D.J. Mendoza. All four are periodic IRT players and the semis should be excellent. Hansen is the defending champ but I think Shea is the favorite to win this. Boys 16U is headlined by the defending champ @Nikhil Prasad , who already has 6 Junior National titles and is an overwhelming favorite here. But there’s a huge draw with a ton of challengers here. #2 @Gatlin Sunderland was a semi finalist in 16U last year, #6 Mendoza is competing in both 16U and 18U and could be a dark horse, and #5 @Benjamin Horne made the quarters of 18U last year as a 15yr old. Lots of fun here. Boys 14U: The #1 seed is last year’s champ Eshan Ali, but he’ll be challenged by last year’s 12U champ and fellow Northern California player #2 Nathan Ryhkus to repeat and claim his 5th junior national title. Boys12U’s will have a new champ, with Ryhkus moving up. Last year’s 10U champ Alejandro Robles-Pincon is the #2 seed and a favorite, projected to face #1 seed Vaishant Mangalampalli if seeds hold.
Boys 10U Double Bounce returns for the first time since 2019, with four new-comers set to compete. No other younger groups (8U, 8Umb, 6U) are being competed this year.
Girls 21U will be a fun one, with a few LPRT regulars entered along with a couple of newer names that could surprise. Graci Wargo , @Annie Roberts, @Shane Diaz, and @Estefania Perez-Picon have all featured on the pro tour this season, and watching these up and coming American’s compete here will be great experience. My money is Roberts 1, Diaz 2, Perez-Picon 3. Girls 18U features a full 16 player draw, headlined by 8-time US Junior champ @Heather Mahoney as the #1 seed. #2 is @Julia Stein, a veteran junior player who won 10U in 2013. The rest of the draw is filled with veterans of High School nationals, with 10 players hailing from the St. Louis league. Girls 16U’s draw is headlined by its defending champ @Naomi Ros, who also happens to have played in half the LPRT events this year. She took the 16U final last year over #2 seed @Ava Kaiser … so hard not to predict a rematch there. Ros won a couple of Mexican Junior national titles before moving here in 2020, and now is set to compete for the US for the forseeable future. Watch out though for the #3 and #4 seeds: Sonya Shetty has 3 junior national titles herself, and Andrea Perez-Picon is no stranger to the pro tour herself (and the 14U finalist to Shetty last year). Tough semis and finals here.
Girls 14U: #1 Andrea Perez-Picon is in the driver’s seat here, the finalist last year and also reigning 12U champ.
There’s also both gender doubles and Mixed doubles this weekend, with many players competing in all three. The 18U doubles tournaments in particular look great, and I hope we get to see some streaming. Leo Vazquez is back on the USAR mike this weekend; follow USAR and sign up for live stream notifications all weekend.
The 33rd annual Pan American Racquetball Championships kicks off this weekend with a slew of singles round robins, new rules, and new divisions. It is back after two years of cancellations due to Covid. We’ll hold off until the RRs are competed and the knockout brackets are determined to do predictions, but did want to highlight some interesting items at this juncture.
First off, the IRF has FINALLY FINALLY decided to use R2sports.com to coordinate the tournament. For years (decades?) they’ve depended on hand creating PDFs and uploading them to Dropbox, but could never seem to keep the results updated in a timely manner mid-tournament, and the Dropbox links constantly change so I can’t embed sources for tournaments … So everyone can be happy that this tournament will be in the same platform as every other racquetball tournament.
R2sports home page: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39092
Rally scoring is now in play. A reminder that the IRF went to rally scoring because they claimed it would shorten matches (it doesn’t), or that its because they want to be presentable to TV (a TV contract they don’t have), or so they can hold team events (which they’ve always been able to do). Other than that … yay! can’t wait for rally scoring so that we can not have any epic comebacks or fantastic back-and-forth tiebreakers or any semblance of a match that doesn’t look like its being competed in a rush because the participants are late for a dinner reservation….
Reminder on seeding: the seeding is done based on the COUNTRY, not the PLAYER. So, you might have someone like a top 10 touring pro (Mario Mercado) seeded below someone ranked outside the top 1000 in the world thanks to the prior success (or lack thereof) by their countrymen in previous IRF events.
New event here: Mixed Doubles. Should be fun. The Mexican Nationals mixed event was great, and i’m sure this one will be fun too.
They have junior divisions here, including an U21 division. They seem to be competed basically by Mexican players and South American players. This is not an official IRF junior international event, so only countries that can afford to send players are doing so.
Now for some thoughts on each main draw:
there’s 22 players competing. A bit light as compared to past PARC events (in 2019 they had 30 men competing)
There is a definitely has a “Group of Death” so to speak, with defending Pan Am games gold medalist @Rodrigo Montoya , top IRT pro @Mario Mercado , and dangerous argentine young player @DDiego Garcia all joined by Canadian #2 @Trevor Webb in one RR group. Wow; i’m not sure i’ve seen such a strong international group stage collection in a while.
The draw overall is good: there’s some solid players here; the quarter finals will be epic here if they play out to seeds in that eight regular touring players are present, many of whom have won IRT events.
Mexico’s #2 player is a name maybe not as well known to fans in Elias Nieto. He earned this spot by making the semis in last June’s Mexican Nationals event, an event won by Montoya over Parrilla in the final, and with Portillo topping Nieto in the 3rd place game. With both Parrilla and Lalo begging out of the event, the slot went to Nieto. Women’s Singles:
17 players entered, also a light draw. 25 entered the 2019 version of the PARC.
Shockingly … no Paola Longoria, who lives for these international competitions to add to her astounding count of titles (21 at current). I’ll have to get some insight as to why she’s not here.
Clearly Mexico had some issues filling the spot, because the Mexican #2 female is junior Angela Ortega, who is competing in her age 17 season and who has never appeared on the LPRT. Very odd, in that there’s probably 10 other Mexican touring pros who would have been a more competitive entrant here (just off the top of my head …. Mejia, Parrilla, Enriquez, Salas, Lucia Gonzalez, Flores, Groves, Acosta, Perez, Rico, or Aguilar). Interesting. Salas is here, but already competing in both doubles events, and adding a third event probably was a non-starter.
In fact, I might be wrong, but it doesn’t seem like any player is playing in all 3 events; maybe that was a purposeful limitation on the entrants.
The group of death seems to be Group A, with @Maria Jose Vargas, @AmAmaya C , and @Angelica Barrios. A top 3, top 10 and top 15 player.
Despite no #1 Longoria, 6 of the top 10 are in the singles draw plus another 3 from the top 20.
– Another notable absence; no @Maria Renee Rodriguez from Guatemala, who has been a mainstay at these events for the better part of a decade representing her country alongside Gaby Martinez.
There’s 10 teams/countries represented here.
Interestingly Moscoso is NOT playing with his typical doubles partner Roland Keller; instead its Carrasco and Carlos Keller representing Bolivia.
The Bredenbeck brothers are representing the USA, which should be fun.
Acuna is not playing with his regular partner Camacho from Costa Rica.
I think your two early favorites here are Canada (Murray and Iwaasa are tough) and USA (the Bredenbecks have played together a lot).
8 teams here, split into two RR groups to start.
Group A is stacked, with three teams I think could win this all together (Bolivia, Mexico and USA).
Group B is … well, significantly weaker than Group A, and its 4th seed is clearly the best team in Argentina. They’ll get a cakewalk into the #2 seed in knockouts.
I just don’t see how these groups/seedings make sense: you have clearly the top four racquetball playing countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, and Bolivia) in one group, then Columbia, Guatemala, Chile, and Argentina in the other. That just doesn’t seem balanced at all. Even if the past results support it.
I think your favorites are clearly Mexico (Herrera/Salas), but Argentina (Vargas/Mendez) have been playing together regularly for most of the last few LPRT seasons and should make it a compelling final if they get there.
A first time through for Mixed and we have some intriguing teams for sure.
10 teams here and it seems like players have prioritized Mixed over Gender doubles; the better players are here.
– My early favorites are Mexico (Montoya and Salas, who just won Mexican Mixed), USA (Landa and Manilla are both great doubles players), and Colombia (Mercado and Amaya are both highly experienced doubles teams). Don’t sleep on Bolivia, who has Moscoso hitting bombs on the right hand side, always a challenge in doubles.
Streaming apparently doesn’t start until next week. But maybe we’ll get some of the players streaming their matches in the interim. More to come next week on this event when we get to the knockouts.
In addition to the LPRT Boston Open, there were a slew of other events this past weekend worthy of mention. Here’s a quick run through of what was a very busy weekend globally for racquetball.
US High School Nationals.
r2sports site: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=38151 One of the biggest tournaments of the year (by pure attendance) was held last weekend: the 2022 @USA Racquetball High School Nationals event, held at the Vetta Sports clubs in St. Louis.
Nearly 350 High School players from around the country were in St. Louis to compete for singles, doubles, and team competitions. Here’s a recap of the #1/Gold competitions on the weekend…
Boys #1 Gold Singles: #1 @Josh Shea from New York topped #2 @AnAndrew Gleason from Iowa. In a likely precursor to the 18U Junior Nationals final later this year, Shea won the first HS title for a New Yorker since … @sSudsy Monchik won in 1991.
Girls #1 Gold Singles: #2 @Naomi Ros from San Antonio upset #1 seed @Heather Mahoney. Ros recently relocated from Mexico and topped Mahoney in the 2021 Junior Nationals, setting up a rivalry that is set to run for a couple more years on the US junior national scene. She becomes the first ever titlist from a Texas HS on the girl’s side.
Boys #1 Doubles: Jacob Schmidt / Gabe Collins from Christian Brothers College High School in St Louis cruised to the title as the #1 seed.
Girls #1 Doubles: Heather Mahoney / Ava Naworski from Casa Grande High School outside of Santa Rosa HS took the title as the #3 seeds.
Mixed #1 Doubles: Ros teamed with DJ Mendoza (the #4 seed in Boys #1 gold) to cruise to the Mixed doubles title. The team competition was dominated by Missouri/St Louis area high schools:
Boys’ Team: St. Louis University HS
Girl’s Team: Lafayette HS
Overall Team: Kirkwood HS
Congrats to everyone who played, organized and participated. Thanks to @LLeo Vasque ‘s tireless work on the stream all weekend.
LPRT Boston Open Draws r2sports site: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=38579
Connecticut’s top player @Jose Flores upset the #1 seeded @John Behm to take the 24-man Open draw from Boston this weekend.
Women’s Open: as noted in the LPRT wrap-up, Micaela Meneses had a great women’s Open tournament, topping LPRT regulars Lotts, Lawrence and Munoz to take the title.
PAC Pueblo Athletic Shootout IRT recap r2sports: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=38852 Several IRT touring regulars traveled to Colorado to compete in the PAC shootout. The four IRT regulars all advanced to the singles semis as expected. From there, #1 Andree Parrilla topped #4 @NNick Riff while @David Horn took out his colleague @Adam Manilla in the other semi to setup an All-WRT alumni final. In that final, Parrilla cruised to the title, topping Horn 2,5.
In doubles, Horn and Manilla were unstoppable, cruising to the pro doubles title over #2 seeds Riffel and @Mike O’Brien in the final.
Minnesota Hall of Fame IRT Tier 3 r2sports: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=38807 A solid mid-western flair draw of top players descended to Fridley over the weekend for the Hall of Fame tournament. This included the IRT broadcast team of @DeDDean Baer and @PFPablo Fajre , who made friends with a local kangaroo and called some matches. r2sports site: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=38807 Congrats to local open amateurs @John Goth , Blake Hansen , and Lee Meinerz , who joined the 5 touring pros in the pro quarters. From there, Canadian #1 @Samuel Murray topped #5 Jordy Alonso in one semi, while #3 @Andres Acuña upset home-town favorite @Jake Bredenbeck in the other semi. In the singles final…Acuna played solid ball to top Murray 10,7 to take the singles title.
In the Doubles draw, the Bredenbeck brothers took out Murray playing with Canadian Ledu Michael in the final.
Lastly, several countries have been holding Nationals events or National team selection events ahead of next month’s Pan American Racquetball Championships. Results are a little hard to come by since no international countries use r2sports outside of the “big 3” … but here’s what we’ve been able to glean from various Facebook Posts:
Costa Rica held their men’s championships last weekend; in the men’s final: Andres Acuna d Gabriel Garcia 6,7,5. This is somewhat of a changing of the guard, as @FelipFelipe Camacho has represented the country for many, many years.
Colombia held a Men’s Selection event in Pereia, COL over the weekend.
Guatemala held their Men’s Selection event this past week and weekend (Women’s will be next weekend). The 4 semi finalists competed (presumably) in a RR draw; here was the results:
@Juan Jose Salvatierra
The top 3 will represent Guatemala, with Mendoza as the alternate.
Congrats to all the newly crowned Junior Worlds singles champions:
Boys 18U: Erick Trujillo, Mexico
Boys 16U: Jorge Gutierrez, Mexico
Boys 14U Eder Renteria, Mexico
Boys 12U: Sebastian Terrazas, Bolivia
Boys 10U: Gustavo Cordova, Bolivia
Click here; http://rball.pro/043BA8 for a matrix of all Junior Worlds Boys champions for all of time.
Comments on the draws: Boys 18U: A first (and only) junior world championship for Trujillo, who graduates from Juniors with a win at the highest level. We look forward to his continuing to compete on the IRT, as he’s had a decent debut so far. He topped fellow Mexican Sebastián Longoria in the final. Boys 16U Mexican champion Jorge Gutierrez topped Bolivian’s #1 Ezequiel Subieta in a competitive final that featured all Bolivia/Mexican semis. This is Gutierrez’s first ever world title. Boys 14U: Renteria captures his third ever Junior World Title in his age 13 season, winning the final over countryman Sebastian Ruelas in a rematch of the Mexican 14U final earlier this year. Boys 12U Terrazas wins his first junior world title in a draw dominated by Bolivians: all three entered advanced to the semis. Boys 10U
Cordova won an all-Bolivian final over countryman Matias Garabito.
Girls 18U: Micaela Meneses Cuellar, Bolivia
Girls 16U: Krystin Salinas, Bolivia
Girls 14U: Natalia Mendez (no relation), Bolivia
Girls 12U: Jamileth Sipec, Guatemala
Girls 10U: Michelle Gomez, Mexico Click here: https://rball.pro/BCE571 for a matrix of all Junior Worlds winners for all of time. Comments on the victors: Girls 18U Bolivia’s Meneses finishes a grueling two weeks in Guatemala, having also represented her country in the Adult competition. She finished in 13th place, just outside of the guaranteed spots for World Games 2022, but would be first in line if one of the top 12 drops out. She wins junior worlds in her age 17 season in dominant fashion, winning the final 5,2 and still has a year to go. She’s already a regular on the LPRT and we look forward to more from the young Bolivian. She tops the promising lefty Argentine Martina Katz in the final, who impressed all weekend. Girls 16U After a nail-biting semi win over Mexico’s #2 player @Angela Ortega, Salinas crushed Mexican’s #1 @Cynthia Gutierrez 3,5 to win her first ever Junior World title. Girls 14U Bolivian Natalia Mendez (no relation to the LPRT touring player Natalia Mendez Erlwein) captured her first ever Junior World title, topping Mexican champ and #1 seed Maria Fernanda Trujillo in the final. Girls 12U: Sipec broke the Bolivian stronghold on girls titles by vanquishing both Mexican top seeded players en route to the title. Girls 10U
Gomez avenged a loss to Costa Rica’s Larissa Faeth in the group stage by topping her for the 10U title.
Doubles: We have captured the doubles champions into the database; see http://rball.pro/943497 for a complete list of all Junior worlds doubles champions from 2021 and going back in time.
We have not seen team results posted officially, but it seems that Mexico just beat out Bolivia for the team competition. No idea who might have come in third.
Thus ends a long two weeks of competition in Guatemala. Congrats to all players, to all who competed. Thanks to the IRT broadcasting crew who spent the better part of two weeks in Guatemala City broadcasting. Dean DeAngelo Baer and Pablo Fajre should get some well-deserved rest.
Next up for IRF? The Pan American Racquetball Championships next april in, hopefully , Bolivia! International Racquetball Federation – IRF
Here’s a recap of Canada Junior Nationals, held this past weekend in Burlington, Ontario Canada. Trackie site for Canadian Jr Nationals: https://www.trackie.com/…/racquetball-canada…/471134/… (In case you’re wondering why Racquetball Canada has gone to a different system than R2sports … it has to do with Canadian data privacy laws for its players. R2 is not housed within Canada, so they had to switch to a Canadian-housed solution). Congrats to the following Boys singles finalists for team Canada (click here: http://rball.pro/5B9265 for a Matrix of all Canada boy’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2014 or so. We will do the 2021 data entry later this week while on travel):
Boys 18U: Nathan Jauvin over Naman Gauri
Boys 16U: Christian Pocsai over Matthew Hudson
Boys 14U: Asher Pocsai over Raphael Guillemette
Boys 12U: not competed
Boys 10U: not competed
Boys 8U: not competed This is the 6th junior nationals title for Jauvin, who is in his age 17 season so he has one more shot to extend his collection of tities. This is the 4th title for Christian Pocsai and the 3rd for Asher Pocsai.
For Doubles, we’re assuming the two singles finalists in 18U and 16U will be the doubles team. In Boys 14U, the two singles finalists Pocsai/Guillemette teamed up to win a small round robin to win the Doubles title.
Congrats to the following Girls Singles finalists for team Canada (click here: http://rball.pro/8DDB63 for a Matrix of all Canada girls’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2014 or so)
Girls 18U; Juliette Parent over Zoe Chopnick
Girls 16U: Tamara Wilscam over Ofelia Wilscam
Girls 14U: Chloe Jauvan wins the RR, Alaya Buller 2nd.
Girls 12U: not competed
Girls 10U: not competed
Girls 8U: not competed
This is Parent’s 4th junior national title, Tamara’s 3rd, and Chloe’s 5th.
Congrats to tournament director Jennifer Saunders for another successful Canadian national tournament. International Racquetball Tour LPRT Racquetball Canada International Racquetball Federation – IRF
This past weekend featured both Mexico and Canada holding their Junior National tournaments. The results of these events determine the national team members that will represent their country at the upcoming World Juniors in Guatemala City the first weekend of December. We’ll recap the Mexican tourney today and the Canadian tournament tomorrow.
R2 site for Mexican Jr Nationals: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/viewResults.asp?TID=37940
Congrats to the following Boys singles finalists for team Mexico: (click here: http://rball.pro/27C371 for a Matrix of all Mexican boy’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2012. We’ll work on the 2021 data entry later this week while on travel).
Boys 18U: Erick Trujillo , Sebastián Longoria
Boys 16U Jorge Gutierrez Ortiz and Cristhian Sánchez Raquetbol
Boys 14U: Eder Renteria and Sebastian Alejandro Ruelas
Boys 12U: Luis Carlos Ochoa and Diego Chavez
Boys 10U: Rene Palomino and Jhontan Garcia Banuelos
Boys 8U: Herman Gracia Castro and Max Soto
Trujillo is a name that’s been in “the news” lately for his excellent showings in recent IRT events. He’s come out of nowhere on the Mexican scene; this is his first junior national title. Longoria was the 16U champ in 2019. This is the first junior title for Ortiz. Renteria is a familiar name to junior racquetball; this is his 6th junior national title, and he’s got a chance to come close to David Ortega’s record of 11 career Mexican junior national titles. This is Ochoa’s 3rd junior title; he previously won an 8U and 10U title.
Congrats to the following Girls Singles finalists for team Mexico: (click here: http://rball.pro/271CB4 or a Matrix of all Mexican girls’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2012)
Girls 18U; Daniela Rico and Ximena Martinez
Girls 16U: Angela Veronica Ortega and Cynthia Gutierrez
Girls 14U: Mariafernanda Trujillo and Yanna Salazar
Girls 12U: Lilia Farias and Natalia Guillen
Girls 10U: Michelle Gomez and Maria Melo
Girls 8U: Maria Jose Juardo and Eva Chavez Enriquez
A second junior national title for Rico, who has already played in 8 LPRT events, the first of which was in her age 13 season in 2017. Keep an eye on Rico; the list of recent Mexican junior 18U titlists reads like a list of players you’ll be seeing playing weekend matches on the LPRT: Ana Laura Flores, Montse Mejia, Erin Nocam Rivera, Montse Perez, Lucia Gonzalez, Alexandra Herrera and Diana Aguilar are the 18u winners from the last decade.
A third title for Ortega (she previously won in 2015 and 2017) and for Trujillo (she won previously in 2017 and 2019). All our other winners are new
fyi; the format for the Mexican draw was as follows (as far as I can tell): a single-elimination draw to determine the champion, then a loser’s bracket draw, the winner of whom was crowned the 2nd place finisher. This will present somewhat of a challenge for my database; its the first time that the “finalist” wasn’t necessarily the “2nd place finisher.” I’m not sure how i’m going to address this in the code.
Also, unlike in other jurisdictions Mexico does not hold a separate doubles competition, generally just naming the doubles team from the two singles reps.
Congrats to Favio Soto for another successful Mexican national tournament. International Racquetball Tour LPRT @federacion mexicana de raquetbol International Racquetball Federation – IRF
Congrats to your Junior National Champion winners on the weekend! After a year away, where we saw an entire class of juniors matriculate without being able to defend titles or compete one last time, it was great to see the nation’s top juniors playing this weekend in Des Moines.
R2 Sports App home page for event:https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=37673
Lets review the draws and call out the finalists. Both Singles finalists qualify for Worlds. We’ll go singles then doubles, Boys then Girls, then Mixed. In each singles section, i’ll give the link to the Champions Matrix Report, which has all the champions of all junior divisions going back in history.
Boys Junior Singles Champions: PRS Champions Matrix Report: http://rball.pro/68C60E
In 18U, #1 Timmy Hansen survived a strong push from the upset-minded #6 seed Julius Ellis, who had topped both the #2 and #3 seeds to get to the final. Hansen wins the battle of the sons of two former US National team members and captures his 2nd junior national title.
in 16U, #1 Nikhil Prasad captures his 6th junior national title over #3 Josh Shea in a tiebreaker.
in 14U, #2 Eshan Ali upset #1 seeded Joseph Marshall to win his 4th junior national title.
In 12U, #1 Nathan Rykhus dominated the field and took his 2nd junior national title over fellow NorCal #2 Vaishant Mangalampalli.
in 10U, #1 Alejandro Robles Picon won his 3rd junior national title in dominant fashion, winning all 5 RR matches and never giving up more than 5 points in a game. Nebraskan Lucas Frost-Biskup came in 2nd.
in 8U, Beckett Hansen took out his fellow 8U RR competitor Chris Nelson for the title, and beat several 10U players along the way.
10U Double bounce, 8U multi bounce and 6U multi bounce divisions were not competed this year.
Girls Junior Singles Champions: PRS Champions Matrix Report: http://rball.pro/6D7917
In 18U, #1 Annie Roberts saved off match points to take the title over #2 Erin Slutzky. Roberts secures her 4th junior national title in her final year competing.
In 16U, a big upset as #5 Texan Naomi Ros took out 8-time junior national champ #1 seed Heather Mahoney with ease, then cruised to her first Junior national title in the final over Ava Kaiser. A dominant showing from Ros, who is a former Mexican and World Junior champ but has now moved to the US and is competing here.
in 14U, #1 Sonya Shetty wins her 3rd junior national title over #2 Andrea Perez-Picon, a 12U player playing up and who double qualified on the weekend.
in 12U, Perez-PIcon secured her 5th junior national title with ease, cruising to a win over #2 Aanshi Thakur in the final.
in 10U, Stockton’s Natalia Canchola was the sole entrant and wins the title by default; she competed against the 12U
10UDB, 8U, 8Umb and 6Umb divisions were not competed this year.
Boys Junior Doubles Champs A reminder: just the doubles champs qualify to represent team USA.
18U: Josh Shea repeats as champ (he also won 18U doubles in 2019 with Dylan Pruitt) with Vedant Chauhan; they topped the #1 seeded team of Gleason/Hansen. This is Shea’s 3rd junior double national title and Chauhan’s 2nd.
16U: Gatlin Sutherland & Nikhil Prasad surprised the #1 seeded team of Shea & Chauhan and took the 16U title in the RR draw. This is Sutherland’s 3rd junior national title and Prasad’s 3rd as well.
14U: Eshan Ali & Alexander Pappas took the RR title over 2nd place finishers Axel Lopez & Juan Herrera II. This is Ali’s 2nd junior national doubles title and Pappas’ first.
12U: Vaishant Mangalampalli & Nathan_Rykhus took the small RR draw over fellow 12U competitors Alejandro Robles Picon & Aarush Sudamalla to take the title. This is Mangalampalli’s first title and Rykhus’ second.
10U: The Texan brother team of Chris & Adrian Nelson were the sole 10U entrants; they competed against the 12U but take the title uncontested.
(we generally don’t compete younger than 10U doubles)
Girls Junior Doubles Champs
18U #2 Heather Mahoney & Julia Stein topped #1 Estefania Perez & Erin Slutzky in an 11-9 thriller to take the title. This is Mahoney’s 9th junior national doubles title and Stein’s 9th as well (most of their titles have been together as they’ve grown up).
16U: #1 Karina Mathew & Ava Kaiser cruised to a title over #2 sister team of Arya & Esha Cyril. This is their third junior national doubles title together.
14U: The Shetty sisters Aarya & Sonya won the RR competition, with the Stockton duo of Jordan Ellis & Camila Canchola coming in 2nd. This is Sonya’s 5th doubles title and Aarya’s first.
12U: Andrea Perez-Picon & Zara Ximena Barraza took the RR draw, with Aarya Shetty & Elizabeth Denler coming in 2nd place.
No 10U doubles competitors this year.
Mixed Junior Doubles Champs
18U Mixed: Iain Dunn / Estefania Perez topped Hannah Werk / William Sherman in the final.
16U: Esha Cyril & Nikhil Prasad were the top ranked 16U team in the combined 16/14 RR group.
14U: Nathan Rykhus & Jordan Ellis were the top ranked 14U team in the combined group.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Leo Ray Vasquez and Dean DeAngelo Baer. And thanks to all the players and parents who hopped on the mike to help out, including the likes of Michelle De La Rosa, Tim Hansen and John Ellis. You all made the broadcasts fantastic.
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Your two singles finalists per division plus the doubles winners all qualify to represent the USA at the 2021 World Juniors championships, to be held the first weekend in December in San Jose, Costa Rica.
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Welcome to US Nationals! This weekend, the men and women will have US National team qualifiers to determine who represents the USA at the PARC and World tournaments later this year (in Bolivia and Guatemala respectively), and the Juniors will be competing to win Junior National titles and earn the honor to represent the USA at Junior Worlds in Guatemala later this year.
Men’s Singles. 12 players entered, highlighted by the top 2 seeds who made the finals of the last national qualifier we held, along with a number of IRT regulars.
In the play-in, look out for #12 John Goth, a solid player who made the US National final in 2012 and the round of 16 in the last pro event he played, who faces #5 Charlie Pratt Racquetball, he himself a frequent US National team member and the current US Junior national team coach. Whoever Goth faced in the opener would face a tough challenge. In the Quarters, whoever survives Goth/Pratt has a good chance against #4 Thomas Carter to make the semis. The projected #3/#6 match between Jake Bredenbeck and Maurice Miller could be interesting as well.
In the end, I expect the top two seeds #1 Rocky Carson and #2 Alex Landa to advance to the final and battle it out for the US title. That match would be a coin flip for me; in the last qualifier Rocky came out on top, but the last time they faced off professionally Landa squeaked by with an 11-10 win in the final of the Los Compadres open in Fullerton in Nov 2019.
The top 4 women in the US keep running into each other in the back end of these tournaments, and I expect the top 4 seeds to advance to the semis again this year. In the semis, I look for two upsets by seeding; look for #4 Kelani Lawrence to top #1 Erika Manilla in the top half, and for Hollie Scott (who won the last National team qualifier and thus i’m not quite sure how she’s only ranked #3) to top #2 Rhonda Rajsich in the other semi.
In the final…i’ll go with Kelani, who just faced (and beat) Scott in the LPRT Sweet Caroline open in May rather easily to beat her again and claim her second national title.
Men’s Doubles The big news here was the last minute positive Covid test that defending US doubles champion Sudsy Monchik suffered, which has taken him out of traveling and thus out of the tournament. He’s really bummed, but also has been dealing with the illness, and we’re glad he’s recovering. With the news, USAR reworked the draw and four teams remain to compete.
In one semi, look for the new #1 seed Carson/Pratt (the 2019 champs) to take out the local favorites of Goth/Blake Hansen, while the 2/3 match should feature some fireworks between two good teams of the Bredenbeck brothers (Jake and Sam Bredenbeck) playing Miller and Troy Warigon.
In the final look for Carson/Pratt to prevail over the Bredenbecks to take the title and send Rocky back to an international competition for the 14th year.
Women’s Doubles The defending champ from the last national qualifier ( Aimee Roehler Ruiz) is out while battling Breast Cancer, so the teams are relatively jumbled from the last time we saw them. There’s 5 teams playing, and I expect the top two seeds to advance to the final.
In the final, look for the team of Scott/Lawrence to take out the team of Rajsich/Manilla to take the title.
Juniors It has been two years since we had Junior Nationals and we’ve lost an entire class to matriculation, so its the first time we’ve seen some of these kids in quite a while. I won’t spend a ton of time previewing the draw or making predictions since, well, we just have no idea what will happen.
In the Boys 18U; the top two seeds of Timmy Hansen and Andrew Gleason are seasoned junior international vets and will be hard to beat. Gleason is playing on home soil and could be an upset favorite, but he’ll have to get by a tough #3 seed in Krish Thakur, who has 3 junior titles to his credit. Nonetheless, I like Hansen, who has looked just dominant in local Florida events as of late, to take the title.
In the Girls 18U, #1 Annie Roberts is a favorite to make the final, but she has no simple pathway there. On the bottom side, the 2/3 semi should be great between Erin Slutzky and Shane Diaz. All three have been regularly popping up in LPRT events and moving their careers forward. Look for Roberts to take the title.
In the Boys 16U, a stacked draw at the top, featuring two top seeds in Vedant Chauhan and Nikil Prasad, two Norcal kids who face off a lot. But look out for New Yorker Josh Shea, who has been hanging out at the Kelley court competing against pretty significant competition and might make a run here. The last time these three faced off, Chauhan topped Shea in the 2019 14U, and Prasad topped Chauhan in the final … we’ll get rematches of both this weekend.
In the Girls 16U: it is the Heather Mahoney show; she’s won 8 junior titles and is the defending World 14U champ. It will be difficult to top her in Iowa this weekend.
For the 14U and younger draws … as fans we’ll have to wait and see how the draws play out. I find it hard to even make predictions on kids who were 12 the last time we saw them.
Look for Streaming on USA Racquetball’s page, with Leo Ray Vasquez on the mike as always! Plus, this year USAR has brought in none other than the IRT’s main streaming guy Dean DeAngelo Baer to help out.
Thanks to the Tourney Director and USAR national events coordinator Connor Shane or putting this event on!
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Also congrats to the winners of the massive
Open and 18U draws (which we’ll talk about later on):
– Men’s Open: Andres Acuna
– Men’s Open Doubles: Moscoso/Carrasco
– 18U Juniors: Erick Trujillo
Murray, who was in jeopardy of not even
traveling to the tournament thanks to Covid-related travel restrictions coming
out of Canada, becomes the 41st ever Tier 1 tournament winner in the history of
Men’s pro tours. Ironically, the previous person to fulfil that particular
bucket list item was also the player he vanquished in the final. Murray had a
fantastic event, getting his first ever wins over both Mar and De La Rosa, then
playing solid racquetball all weekend to win the title. Arguably Murray was the
underdog in every match from the round of 16 on, and proved all pundits and
On the Doubles side, the reigning US
national team champs topped a number of top teams en route to the final,
including two top international teams that they might face in the next IRF
championship. They seem to be growing as a team and looking more dangerous the
more they play together.
was stretched to a tiebreaker by home-town
favorite Austin Cunningham before advancing (13),13,7.
– #19 Sam Bredenbeck dropped the opener
against relative newcomer Texan Brennen Jennings before moving on (9),11,4.
– #23 MoMo Zelada was pressed by top amateur
player from Monterrey Daniel Diaz 13,9 before advancing. This is the first time
i’ve seen Diaz in any top-level competition tracked by PRS and he played well,
hope to see more of him on tour.
– In one of the best matches of the opening
round, 18U junior lefty Andrew Gleason came from a game down to beat tough
Bolivian Miguel A. Arteaga Guzman (5),5,7. Gleason showed some great mental
toughness for a junior, many of whom would have folded after a first game beat
In the 32s, we saw the top 16 pros enter
into the draw for the first time … and the draw went perfectly chalk. Every
one of the top 16 seeds advanced. There were a couple notable matches though.
– the #16/#17 seed match always seems to
provide a close call, and this was no exception. #16 Javier Estrada took out
his doubles partner and good friend
, who played him tough in game two but could
not force the breaker.
In the Quarters, we started to see the seeds
breaking down, in a slew of fantastic matches that put the show court behind
nearly 3 hours inside of 3 matches (the last quarter final was a 1pm scheduled
start and didn’t go on until nearly 4pm). Lets recap
– #1 Landa over #8 Jake: Landa made it 10
for 10 in top competitions versus Jake, but the big Minnesotan did not make it
easy, keeping it close throughout. Landa advances 11,13.
– #5 Canadian number one Murray got his
first career win over #4 DLR in an 11-9 thriller. Game one was back and forth,
with DLR coming back to eke it out 15-14, then Murray blitzed game two in about
10 minutes to force the tiebreaker. There, the players were neck and neck, playing
back and forth racquetball that was just great for the neutrals, with DLR
shooting constantly, Murray putting on a defensive and diving clinic, and then
Sam pulling out a great winner to break a 9-9 tie that had lasted several
service changes before DLR pressed on a forehand winner to skip out at match
– #6 Portillo showed some real veteran poise
throughout his match against #3 Parrilla, keeping to his game plan and grinding
out the 11-8 tiebreaker win. This isn’t necessarily Lalo’s best ever win (he
beat Carson in Arizona in 2019) or his best result (he made the final of the
2020 Lewis Drug) but it was the kind of match he won when he wasn’t necessarily
favored to win, and he did it by just out playing and out thinking his
– #7 Moscoso got another win over #2 Carson
in an IRT event (the third in as many pro meetings), but really had to dig deep
to do so. Carson controlled game one, but Moscoso ground back in game two
before racing to the 11-4 breaker win. Kane and Sudsy were on the mike for the
first part of this match and put on a broadcasting clinic, with some of the
best in-match analysis you’ll ever see. It is worth a re-listen to the
In the Semis
– #1 Landa seemed to show some of the
effects of the layoff and lots of play on Saturday, looking tired throughout
the match. He was pressed continually by the Canadian #1, who put on an
absolute clinic on defensive racquetball and athletic prowess diving around the
court and showing amazing agility for a big man. Murray saved match point
against and ran off a couple points for victory on the back of a couple of
pretty amazing kill shots from the back court. This was one of those matches
you wished was still win by two, because there was little separating these two
players on the day. Murray advances to just his second ever pro final, first
since Sept 2018 with the 11-10 thriller.
– #7 Moscoso advanced to the finals over #6
Portillo, but Lalo continued to show his maturation as a player, bouncing back
from an embarrassing first game 15-2 shellacking to take a game from one of the
world’s best players before falling quickly in the breaker. Moscoso advances to
his 3rd major final in just 10 career tournaments and is in a great spot to
take another title.
So, just to note the pathway for the two
– Murray has beaten Mar, DLR and Landa to
– Moscoso has beaten Mercado, Carson and
Murray in particular really having a great
In the Finals…
Murray controlled game one easily, playing
smart racquetball and exposing Moscoso’s go-for-broke style. Conrrado came back
in game two, getting on a hot streak to push to a breaker. In the tie-breaker,
Murray continued to grind out points, playing smart racquetball and
counter-punching against Moscoso’s shots. Momentum seemed to swing against
Murray as Moscoso ran off four straight towards the end … but Murray
stiffened up, played smart racquetball, mixed in a few highlight-reel 39 foot
roll outs of his own to match the flashier Moscoso, then ended the match with a
diving re-kill roll-out to take his first ever IRT title.
Murray played lights out all weekend, and
more than earned this title.
Points Implications of results
Well, we’re not entirely sure what the
points implication of this event will be, because we’re not sure what the tour
will do yet with the rankings points The points have been frozen since March,
but just turning the system back on and expiring 9 months of points will have a
pretty radical effect on the rankings.
There’s talk of changing the points system
as a result, to go away from a rolling 12-month calendar for the time being to
something based on the last 10 tourneys, or perhaps the last two years of
events. There’s also talk of moving to a calendar year system versus a rolling
IF (and this is a big if) we were to stick
with rolling 12-months and just expire the points dating to the end of 2019 …
then these are some of the big-time moves we’ll see in the rankings:
– DLR jumps to #2
– Finalists Murray and Moscoso jump to #3
and #4 respectively.
– Landa drops to #5
– Mercado jumps to #7
– Estrada, amazingly, jumps from #23 to #8
– Parrilla gets dropped to #9
– Manilla, also surprisingly , jumps from
#21 to #10.
– Beltran drops all the way to #11
– And lastly, most amazingly, Carson would
drop from #3 all the way to #15. That’s right; Rocky, a player who has not been
outside the top 3 in 20 years or so, had such a badly timed run of results and
missed early 2020 events due to injury that he’d nearly be out of the top 16.
Take all this with a grain of salt, because
I sense the ranking system needs to be modified to protect against such radical
moves. Stay tuned.
The 14-team doubles draw provided a ton of
interesting results on the first night of competition, with a ton of really
surprising results. Here’s a walk through.
In the 16s:
– #3 seeds DLR and tournament sponsor Donald
Williams were handled by the local team of Zachary Patterson and Austin
Cunningham 14,3. I thought the presence of top doubles player DLR would get
them at least a round further, but they fall at the opener.
– #6 seeded Colombian’s Garay and Franco dug
deep to hold off the tough pair of Mexicans from Chihuahua Natera & Estrada
in two tight games 14,10. They’re setup for a good shot at the final.
– #10 seeds and new pairing Carter & Mar
really surprised me and blew past the all-Colombian team of Mercado and Herrera
6,5. Mercado is such a good doubles player, I thought this would have gone the
other way based on the inexperience of Carter+Mar pairing … but as they say,
this is why they play the games.
In the Quarters
– #1 Murray/Jake had to go breaker to top
the experienced Costa Rican pair of Acuna/Camacho.
– #4 Sudsy Monchik and Landa had a tense,
tight match against the Bolivian team of Moscoso/Carrasco, pulling it out in a
heated breaker where the American reps came back from 5-8 down in the breaker
to run the match out. At the death, a highly contested two-bounce call, several
debatable replays and then match point awarded via an avoidable when Monchik
had a setup in the middle of the court that hit a jumping Moscoso. It was an animated
finish to say the least.
– #3 Garay/Franco destroyed the Cinderella
local team of Patterson/Cunningham to move into the semis.
– #2 Parrilla/Portillo took a close 2-game
win 11,13 over Carter/Mar.
In the semis…
– The US national team of Monchik/Landa
stiffened up after a first game blowout loss to #1 seeded Murray/Jake and
eventually cruised to the tiebreaker 11-3 to move into the finals.
– The Colombian national team of
Franco/Garay held off match point in game two, then blew it out in the breaker
to move into the final over the #2 seeded all-Mexico team of Parrilla/Portillo.
In the final…
– Monchik & Landa had match point on
their racquets … twice, but the new Colombian pairing of Franco/Garay fought
back and forced the breaker. There. the US champs controlled throghout and
ground out the win. The tail end of game two was some of the best doubles play
i’ve ever seen, with all four players hitting amazing shots, and both teams
showing tactical adjustments on the fly to try to strategize their way to a
Men’s Open review; a 35-man open draw went
down, with a ton of top pro players dipping down into the draw and making for
some great matches.
In the final, Acuna topped Natera in a
breaker. Floridian vet
and Costa Rican newcomer Gabriel Garcia were
the semi finalists.
18U Junior draw review
The IRT is embarking on a new program to
highlight juniors, and Atlanta was their first foray into the program. A large
scholarship purse was devoted to the draw and they got a fantastic
multi-national 18U junior draw as a result.
The top two 18U players from Mexico advanced
to the final, with