Image courtesy of Dale Walker.
A full slate of squash over the weekend saw 295 juniors congregate in Philadelphia to contest the U.S. Junior Silver Squash Championships and an elite selection of top-ranked boys vying for the National Team to represent the United States at the 2014 World Junior Men’s Team and Individual Championships. Both competitions took place at Germantown Cricket Club, Berwyn Squash & Fitness Club, and Episcopal Academy.
Six junior players will travel to Windhoek, Namibia, August 10-21 to represent the United States in the World Juniors. Four positions were up for grabs in the fourteen-player playoff with top-ranked Derek Hsue already on the team squad, and developmental player David Yacobucci set to compete in the individual event.
Mason Ripka and Max Reed put in outstanding performances to reach the final and earn positions on the National Team. Ripka needed five games in the first round, against Jonathan Zeitels, and then again when facing second-seeded Timmy Brownell in the semifinals before winning the play0ff final against Reed 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7. Reed pulled off a shock upset in quarterfinals by knocking out top-seeded Arhum Saleem before defeating fourth-seeded Pierson Broadwater in a five-game semifinal after saving five match balls. Broadwater is set as the second U.S. player in the individual competition, while Brownell will complete Team USA, alongside Reed, Ripka, and Hsue.
U.S. Junior Men’s National Team:
Derek Hsue- Team
Timmy Brownell- Team
Mason Ripka- Team
Max Reed- Team
Pierson Broadwater- Individual
David Yacobucci- Individual
Entry for the Silver Championships was restricted to the top thirty-two entrants ranked No. 33 and below in U11, U13, U15, U17, and U19 age divisions. All results from the weekend are available below.
One player from each division who displayed the largest jump in rankings from April 2013 to April 2014 and competed in the 2014 U.S. Junior Silver Squash Championships was presented the William T. Ketcham, Jr., Most Improved Player Award—Honorable mention, during a special ceremony on Saturday evening.
William T. Ketcham, Jr., Most Improved Player Award—Honorable Mention recipients:
BU11 – Peter Lim (improved 101 ranking positions)
BU13 – Maxwell Orr (improved 125 ranking positions)
BU15 – Zach Bradlow (improved 97 ranking positions)
BU17 – Wiatt Hinton (improved 131 ranking positions)
BU19 – Peter Yuen (improved 94 ranking positions)
GU11 – Lindsey Burnham (improved 30 ranking positions)
GU13 – Serena Daniel (improved 87 ranking positions)
GU15 – Tyla McKenzie (improved 73 ranking positions)
GU17 – Clare Kearns (improved 112 ranking positions)
GU19 – Hannah Nice (improved 16 ranking positions)