Squash Haven, Capitol Squash, and StreetSquash Newark Take Home Northeast Regional Titles
On Saturday April 30, 90 students traveled to Yale University to compete in the the Northeast Individual Regional Tournament. Hosted by Squash Haven, the tournament showcased Northeast U13 through U17 talent from Squash Haven, SquashBusters Boston, StreetSquash Newark, and Hartford’s Capitol Squash. A-division girl winners included U13 Vanessa Olivar from Squash Haven, U15 Krishna Patel from Squash Haven, and U17 Melissa Marquez from Squash Haven. In the boys’ A-division, the winners were U13 Malike Alassani from Capitol Squash, U15 Umarr Lahun from Squash Haven, and U17 Quinlan Jeudy from StreetSquash Newark.
Squash Haven’s Squash Professionals John DeWitt and Owen Butler organized this tournament for the second year in a row. “It’s very cool to see all the programs come together, ” said Butler. “The first couple minutes when everyone is excited for the matches to begin is very rewarding.”
Beyond the competitive opportunity, these regional one-day events offer students the chance to travel outside of their home city and form new friendships. Capitol Squash Executive Director Meg Taylor notes the relationships that grow between student competitors. “It’s great to see our Capitol Squash students shake hands with friends from other programs,” said Taylor. “And they’ve only been doing this a couple years.”
For many students, tournaments provide an opportunity to show the result of their hours of practice. “The best part about it for me is seeing the reactions of the other coaches when I play,” said BU17 winner Quinlan, a ninth grader from StreetSquash Newark. “They’ve seen me play for a few years now and they can see I’m getting better, and that’s very rewarding for me.”
The Northeast Individual Regional functions as a tuneup for NUSEA’s larger competitions, such as Urban Individual Nationals at Williams and Amherst colleges in June. Looking at the energy and fierce competition brought to the April 30 showdown, Individuals will be a chance for friends to reconnect and show their talent on a bigger stage.
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