2015 Annual Award Winners

April 28, 2015, 1:40 p.m. (ET)

USA Racquetball Announces Annual Award Recipients

USA Racquetball annually bestows awards recognizing

outstanding accomplishments in our sport both on and off the court.

 

Congratulations to the 2015

USA Racquetball Annual Award Recipients!

 

Male Athlete of the Year - Jake Bredenbeck

Bredenbeck, 23, of Chandler, Ariz., had a breakout year competing in national and international championships. He won the 2014 U.S. National Singles Championships and also finished second at the recent Pan American Racquetball Championships held in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, Bredenbeck medaled in both singles and doubles competition at last year’s PASO Pan American Sports Festival in Mexico.

 

Female Athlete of the Year - Rhonda Rajsich

Rajsich, 36, of Phoenix, Ariz., continued to dominate national and international play among Americans over the last year. She is receiving this award for the seventh time, her fifth straight. Rajsich won the 2014 U.S. National Singles Championships and earned a silver medal at last year’s IRF World Championships in Canada. Along with partner Kim Russell-Waselenchuk, Rajsich took the title at this year’s National Doubles Championships. She also won a silver medal in doubles at the 2014 PASO Pan 
American Sports Festival in Mexico.

 

Bud Muehleisen Male Age Group Award - Jimmy Lowe

Lowe, 52, of Aiea, Hawaii, is winning this award for an amazing eighth time.  The 2014 USA Racquetball Hall of Fame inductee went on to have another great year. He won gold medals in both the 45+ and 55+ divisions at the U.S. National Singles Championships. Lowe did the same in the 40+ and 50+ divisions at the UnitedHealthcare US OPEN. He also captured a silver medal in the 40+ division at this year’s National Doubles Championships.

 

Peggy Steding Female Age Group Award - Cindy Tilbury

A first-time recipient of this award, Tilbury, 57, of Malibu, Calif., participated in a broad cross-section of qualifying events with compelling results. She won silver medals in the 50+ and 55+ divisions at last year’s U.S. National Singles Championships along with a silver medal in the 55+ division at the UnitedHealthcare US OPEN. Tilbury won a gold medal in the 45+ Mixed Doubles division at the National Doubles Championships. She also won a gold medal in the 55+ division at the WMSRA Championships and went on to take first place in the 55+ and second place in the 55+ Mixed Doubles divisions at the IRF World Senior Racquetball Championships.

 

Joe Sobek Outstanding Contribution Award - Cheryl Kirk

Few individuals have contributed more to U.S. and international racquetball than Cheryl Kirk of Naperville, Ill. Kirk served on the USA Racquetball Board of Directors from 2006-2012 and as its President for the last four years of her tenure. She has volunteered countless hours as Team Leader for the U.S. National and Junior National Teams, coordinating nine events in the past three years. Kirk and husband Kit Lawson have contributed financially to USA Racquetball and in particular to the National Teams as Inaugural Benefactors for the TEAM USA Challenge campaign. Kirk serves on USA Racquetball’s U.S. National Team Committee and Women’s Committee while also filling the post of Vice President of the Illinois State Racquetball Association. She even proofreads every issue of RACQUETBALL Magazine. Additionally, Kirk is an officer on the Boards of Directors of the International Racquetball Federation and Pan American Racquetball Confederation.

 

Presidential Award - Dan Whitley (Missouri Racquetball Association)

If anyone is overdue for such an award, it may be Dan Whitley. Whitley, of Kirkwood, Mo., has been President of the Missouri Racquetball Association (MORA) since 2004. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Missouri High School Racquetball Association since 2002. During this time, participation in the nation’s largest high school league has grown from 325 to nearly 500 students from 22 schools. Whitley’s roles in implementing a “no-cut” philosophy and junior high program have greatly fueled this growth. He has helped shift the focus of the MORA to bringing new players into the sport and developed ways to bridge high school competitors into tournament play as adults. His efforts have certainly paid off through membership retention and growth.  Whitley, who also helped found the MORA Hall of Fame in 2011, is most proud that the organization doesn’t rest; it continually tries new things and always strives for improvement.

2015 Hall of Fame and Annual Awards Celebration

Party to be held on Saturday, May 23 during

the National Singles Championships in Denver, CO.

 

Join us for a wonderful celebration of excellence and contributions to our sport

as we also recognize 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee, Sudsy Monchik.

 

Tickets are complimentary for National Singles Participants.

Tickets to the party are available for non-participants for $40.

Call (719) 635-5396 x 0 for details.

 

 

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee

Sudsy Monchik

 

Sudsy Monchik has been selected for the Racquetball Hall of Fame, the sports highest honor.  He is being inducted in the Professional category in his first year of eligibility.

 

Monchik, 40, of Staten Island, NY, began playing racquetball at age 7 and went on to capture more than 40 International Racquetball Tour professional titles during his career, including five consecutive season-ending #1 rankings.  He won four UnitedHealthcare US OPEN titles from 1996 through 2002.  Monchik and partner Tim Doyle captured six professional doubles titles and he won the 1994 U.S. National Doubles Championship with Tim Sweeney.

 

Monchik had an unmatched junior career, winning both National Junior singles and doubles titles in every age division from 8 and under through 18 and under.  His junior doubles titles were all won with Jason Mannino as his partner. He also captured a National High School Championship in his junior year. 

 

Monchik played for both the U.S. Junior and U.S. National Teams.  He captured an amazing 11 Junior World Championship titles.  He also won Gold for the United States at the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival and the 1995 Pan Am Games.

 

Monchik is also a member of the Staten Island, NY Sports Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2009.

 

About the Racquetball Hall of Fame

Founded in 1973, the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame honors the sport's greatest players and contributors.  Player inductees are honored for excellence as Professional, Amateur Open, Amateur Age and/or Outdoor players. In total, 59 of the sport's greatest champions have been enshrined over the 40+ year history of the Hall of Fame.  Nominations for the Hall of Fame are annually due no later than September 15.  More information is available at USARacquetball.com.

 

                     

USA Racquetball

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Colorado Springs, CO  80904

(719) 635-5396

communications@usra.org

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