One month after the top junior players in the United States convened at Yale University for the 2013 U.S. Junior Squash Championships, the second tier of junior squash talent took part in the U.S. Junior Silver Squash Championships in Philadelphia.
Two hundred and eighty-four junior players representing 21 states participated in the tournament with entrants restricted to those nationally ranked No. 33 and below in their respective age groups to determine the top U11, U13, U15, U17, and U19 players.
16-year-old Hannah Scherl won the girls’ U19 division, losing just one game in the semifinals the entire tournament while dispatching her final opponent, 17-year-old Ashley Suan, in three games.
The boys’ U19 final was a face-off between 17-year-olds Aaron Jung and Oliver Agger, with Jung coming out on top after four games.
15-year-old and 2012 Junior Silver boys’ U15 champion, Justin Restivo, stormed the U17 final—after a hard-fought five-game semifinal—to win the division final in three games over Luca Pinelli.
The girls’ U17 final was a showdown between one and two seeds Abigail Shonrock and Anna Marie Manning. 16-year-old Shonrock emerged with the honors after four hard-fought games.
Like the girls’ U17, the U15 was decided between the top two seeds Caroline Neave and Margaret Werner in a five-game marathon, resulting in Neave barely edging out Werner to win the title.
Jonathan Lentz defeated Lucas Stauffer in a four-game boys’ U15 final, showing no signs of slowing down following his five-game semifinal.
Spencer Yager eased his way to winning the boys’ U13 in three games against Edward Eill, while Isabella Kearns defeated Stephanie Tan in a three-game girls’ U13 final.
Nine-year-old and boys’ U11 top seed, Auggie Bhavsar, handily defeated the No. 2 seed, Quinton Campbell, in a three-game final, while Nina Flinn defeated Amanda Cowhey to win the girl’s U11 title.
During the weekend, a player from each division who displayed the largest jump in rankings between April 2012 to April 2013 was presented the William T. Ketcham Junior Most Improved Player Award-Honorable mention at a special ceremony.
After the ceremony, players and spectators were treated to an exhibition between PSA World No. 41 Julian Illingworth and World No. 54 and current US champion, Chris Gordon. The tournament players also got the opportunity to play a few points against the junior squash circuit veterans turned professionals before the exhibition match.
The professional exhibition set an example for junior players that with practice and hard work, anything is possible.