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The United States and Canadian Captains for the ninety-fifth iteration of the United States versus Canada Invitational Squash Challenge Matches, known widely as the “Lapham-Grant Matches”, have announced their featured player line-ups for this year’s competition, which is being held again in New York City for the first time since 1945.
Playing for the United States at the top of the rosters will be a group of former U.S. College super-stars including Dana Betts, Julie Cerullo, Libby Eyre, Logan Greer and Victoria Simmonds for the women, and Chris Callis, Jordan Greenberg, Yasser El Halaby, Peter Kelly, Will Newnham, Lee Rosen and Andres Vargas for the men’s sides.
The top of the Canadian line-ups will feature a mix of former National Champions, Professional Squash Association tour players, and U.S. College Squash stars including Stephanie Edmison, Melina Turk and Jackie Moss for their women, along with Dane Sharp, David Letourneau, Tyler Hamilton, Chris Sachvie and Jake Hooker for their men’s side.
The annual Lapham-Grant Matches between the United States and Canada consists of four dual matches—men’s singles competing for the Lapham Cup, men’s doubles competing for the Grant Trophy, women’s combined singles and doubles competing for the Crawford Cup, and legend’s doubles, men’s players over 65 years of age, competing for the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy. Over two hundred players will compete in the various competitions.
Randy Goodleaf and Liam Culman of New York City are the co-captains of the U.S. men’s singles and doubles playing for the Lapham Cup and Grant Trophy. Ann McGowan, also of New York, is the captain of the U.S. women’s team vying for the Crawford Cup. Multi-year Lapham Grant veteran’s Kit Tatum and Jack Wyant lead the U.S. side of veteran’s playing for the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy. This year’s very strong Canadian team is led by Norm Crook of Toronto for the Lapham and Grant matches, Karen Levine of Vancouver for the Crawford, and Jon Leheup for the Lawrence-Wilkins squad.
The Lapham, Grant, Crawford Cup and Lawrence-Wilkins Trophies are on display at The University Club of New York this week.
Many have compared being selected to a Lapham Grant team as akin to playing on a Ryder Cup or Walker Cup team in golf. “One isn’t playing for herself; he or she is playing for their team and their country, ” said U.S. Crawford Cup women’s captain Ann McGowan.
“There aren’t many team matches outside of collegiate squash and it’s a different feeling, a different energy, ” said U.S. co-captain Liam Culman. “Despite the intensity of the matches there is a special relationship between the sides. It’s a fun and clean competition that boasts good sportsmanship as a core value. No one wants to win without earning their fair share of the match, and nothing tastes better than when the winning side gets to sip champagne from the trophy on Sunday morning.”
The Lapham Cup singles matches have been played every year since 1922, with the Grant Trophy doubles matches inaugurated in 1945, the Crawford Trophy women’s matches in 1999, and the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy veteran’s matches in 2001.
“The Lapham-Grant United States vs. Canada invitational team challenge matches are one of the great traditions in all of squash, ” said Canadian Captain Norm Crook. “We have put a strong lineup together knowing our U.S. counterparts would be doing the same. It would be nice to have the final matches on Sunday decide the 2016 Lapham-Grant winner.”
“Being selected to participate is an honor that all United States and Canadian squash players can aspire to, ” said U.S. LG veteran Kit Tatum. “Team selection is intended to honor both our highest national level open and age group singles and doubles players who play alongside those members of the squash community who provide the national and grass roots organizing leadership that make our game what it is. The intense high quality competition with each nation’s finest, combined with spirited play from the great enthusiasts of our game, are what make the Lapham-Grant most memorable to me.”
The matches alternate host countries every year, with this year’s tournament taking place April 14-18 and headquartered at The University Club of New York and co-hosted by the New York Athletic Club, Racquet & Tennis Club and Union Club. Next year the U.S. team will travel to Calgary, Alberta.
Last year’s tournament, held in London, Ontario, saw Canada dominate all of the competitions. “Our U.S. team is expecting this year’s home court advantage to swing tide of the competition in our direction, ” said U.S. co-captain Randy Goodleaf.
“We Canadians, while always being very “polite”, have some pent up competitive frustration given that our hockey-mad country has been shut out of the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, ” said Canadian women’s captain Karen Levine. “We are however inspired by the Canadian men taking the world curling title this past Sunday, a title that has escaped the U.S. This coming weekend we will be laser focused on trophies and the beer.”
Tournament organizers were also very pleased to announce the outstanding lead sponsorship support for the weekend from Kellner Capital and Fiera Capital, along with the supporting sponsorship of Birch Grove, Jefferson’s Bourbon and Harrow Sporting Goods.
The latest match results will be available throughout the entire competition at www.clublocker.com. You can also follow results on Twitter @lapham_grant. Players and fans are also encouraged to join the Lapham Grant Matches Group on Facebook. Complete historical results since the tournament’s inaugural year–1922—are available under the historical data banner of the tournament’s website www.laphamgrant.com.