Briana Jacquet (Girl's Singles 18 and Under) and Antonio Rojas (Boy's Singles 18 and Under, 16 and Under)
photos courtesy of Kevin Savory
USA Racquetball Names its 2019-2020 Junior National Team
Portland, Oregon - The 2019 USA Racquetball National Junior Olympic Championship presented by Penn wrapped up in Portland, Oregon this weekend. With over 500 matches played, the best juniors from around the country gathered in the Pacific Northwest to earn spots on the Junior National Team, which will compete at the IRF Junior World Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica this fall.
Ten and under doubles champions Nathan Rykus and Ashton Guiraud duked it out in the 10U singles final, with Rykus defeating his partner 15-11, 15-3. On the girls 10U singles side, there was a similar contest between doubles champions Andrea Perez-Picon and her doubles partner Aanshi Thakur, with Perez-Picon becoming a two-time National Champion this tournament (15-5, 15-7). Perez-Picon also won a silver medal in the 12U singles after being defeating by Sonya Shetty 15-7, 15-2.
One of the best junior matches of all-time unfolded before our eyes between Vedant Chauhan and Nikhil Prasad in Boys 14U Singles. In a point for point battle in the second game, it was a display of fist pumps, as Prasad forced a tie breaker, 15-13. The crowd grew for this amazing breaker, cheering for both sides and appreciating great shots. The collective gasps and groans filled the bleachers near court 10, as Prasad took the third game 11-5. Watch the match for yourself here on Livestream. Direct link: https://livestream.com/usaracquetball/events/8720121/videos/192936196
The boys 16U Singles match between Antonio Rojas and Timmy Hansen finished in two with Rojas winning 15-11, 15-14. Reigning champion Anne Roberts held off Heather Mahoney in three games to take the Girls 16U title 8-15, 15-11, 11-9.
The girls 18 doubles round robin finished Saturday night. With second consecutive year of a three-way tie for first, it came down to the head to head, with Nikita Chauhan and Erin Slutzky upsetting the defending champions Megan Carver and Hannah Carver 15-10, 15-7.
The girls 18U singles finals was a repeat of the 2018 Junior Olympics between Briana Jacquet and Nikita Chauhan, ending in the same outcome with Jacquet winning the title 15-7, 15-5. Jacquet’s power dominated Chauhan’s finesse.
In the boys18U singles, Micah Famer started the match with fresher legs than Antonio Rojas, who played in the boys 16U finals match just an hour earlier. In a tough first game, Rojas pulled out the win 15-13. Farmer and Rojas exchanged serves several times in game two, with Farmer going on two runs of 3 points and winning 15-13 to send the match into tie breaker. The roar of crowds travelled down the hallway, as the ball had two crack backspins away from the players resulting in consecutive serve changes. Midway through the third game, Rojas regained the serve despite some incredible diving gets by Farmer and went on to win 11-4 claiming the Boys 18U National title.
Saturday night also featured the Junior Awards banquet, held downtown at the World Trade Center Plaza. As the sun setting over the city, we celebrated the outstanding sportsmanship of Lily Caldwell, both on and off the court. Esprit male and female players of the year, Nikhil Prasad and Ava Kaiser (Gold Singles/Doubles National titles 12U; Bronze in Singles/Doubles at Junior Worlds), as well as World Cup players Andrew Gleason and Heather Mahoney, were also recognized for their performances throughout the 2018 season at the National Junior Olympic Championships and the IRF Junior World Championships.
The 2019-2020 Junior National Team members include:
Boys 10U Singles: Boys 10U Doubles:
Nathan Rykus Nathan Rykus/ Ashton Guiraud
Girls 10U Singles: Girls 10U Doubles:
Andrea Perez-Picon Andrea Perez-Picon/Aanshi Thakur
Boys 12U Singles: Boys 12U Doubles:
Joseph Marshallk2 Angel Galvan/ Eshan Ali
Girls 12U Singles: Girls 12U Doubles:
Sonya Shetty Sonya Shetty/ Ava Naworski
Boys 14U Singles: Boys 14U Doubles:
Nikhil Prasad Vedant Chauhan/ Josh Shea
Girls 14U Singles: Girls 14U Doubles:
Heather Mahoney Ava Kaiser/ Kareena Mathew
Boys 16U Singles: Boys 16U Doubles:
Antonio Rojas Timmy Hansen/ Andrew Gleason
Girls 16U Singles: Girls 16U Doubles:
Annie Roberts Annie Roberts/ Alondra Canchola
Boys 18U Singles: Boys 18U Doubles:
Ben Baron (replacing A. Rojas) Dylan Pruitt/ Josh Shea
Girls 18U Singles: Girls 18U Doubles:
Briana Jacquet Nikita Chauhan/Erin Slutzky