Two-hundred-sixty-one juniors took over the courts at Princeton University and the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey to take part in the season’s sixteenth junior gold tournament. Gold tournaments feature the highest level of junior competition below Junior Championship Tour events, and are restricted to the top thirty-two ranked entrants in each age division—U19, U17, U15, U13, and U11. The select number of gold events held each year attract some of the best junior players from across the country. This weekend’s Lawrenceville Gold drew players from as far as California and Wyoming to compete in the tournament held from January 31 – February 2.
This weekend’s BU19 draw saw several upsets with the two top seeds knocked out in early rounds. Unseeded Wil Hagen upset top seed Jonathan Zeitels in the round of 16, 13-15, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8, and eight seed Philip Kelly in the quarterfinals, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10, before losing to finalist Jay Losty in a five-game semifinal, 7-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11.
Unseeded Jordan Brail also had an impressive run to the semifinal, defeating both seven seed Charles Woodworth in the round of 16, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9, and two seed Senen Ubina in a five-game quarterfinal, 11-1, 6-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-5. Six seed Spencer Anton stopped Brail’s momentum with a four-game semifinal victory, 11-7, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6. Anton went on to win the BU19 final over five seed Losty in three games, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6.
The GU19 draw was more predictable with top seed Christina Huchro topping two seed Selena Maity in a tight three-game final, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10. Huchro completed the weekend dropping just one game in her quarterfinal victory over Lindsay Stanley, 13-15, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5.
One seed Harrison Gil took home the BU17 title defeating three seed Joe O’Connor, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4. O’Connor advanced to the final after a four-game semifinal victory over two seed David Pincus, 11-13, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7.
GU17 three seed Julia Thompson picked up her season’s first gold title with a four-game final win over top seed Anne Blasberg, 11-6, 11-5, 11-13, 11-6. Thompson secured her place in the final by upsetting two seed Diana Masch in the semifinals in four games, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8, 14-12.
BU15 top seed Ian Blatchford capped a perfect weekend with his second gold title of the season. Blatchford topped six seed Lucas Stauffer in a decisive three-game final, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8. Stauffer advanced to the final after defeating A.J. Solecki in a hard-fought five-game semifinal, 12-10, 4-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5.
Eleven-year-old GU15 two seed Marina Stefanoni reached her ninth gold final this weekend, winning her fifth title of the season. Stefanoni bested four seed Meghna Sreedhar in a close three-game final, 12-10, 11-9, 14-12.
Jacob Bulbulia took home his first gold title this weekend. The BU13 two seed Bulbulia defeated four seed Alexander Bernhard in a four-game final, 11-3, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9.
Two seed Emma Carney came back from an 0-1 deficit to top Noor Valvani in a five-game final, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7. Valvani advanced to the final after upsetting both Julia Chai in the quarterfinals, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, and top seed Lark Ervasti in a tight four-game semifinal, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7.
One seed Mitav Nayak won the BU11 final, besting three seed Walter Huffman in three games, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9. On his way to the final, Huffman ousted two seed Andrew Glasser in a four-game semifinal, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10.
Two seed Josephine Klein completed a perfect weekend winning the GU11 final with a three-game victory over top seed Margaux Comai, 11-6, 11-3, 11-8.
Full results and draws from the Lawrenceville Junior Gold are available on the tournament page, located on the US Squash website.
The next gold tournament is the Chelsea Piers Gold, hosted by The Squash Club at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Connecticut, from February 21-23. Click here for tournament details.