US SQUASH

Poulton Thwarts Nelson for Third Year Running; Prockop Claims Open Age Division Double

Gerry Poulton (L) and Jay Nelson in the men's 70+ final.

Gerry Poulton (L) and Jay Nelson in the men’s 70+ final.

National Singles Draws
After packing the McArthur Squash Center glass court gallery for the spectacle of the S.L. Green U.S. Men’s and U.S. Women’s finals Saturday night, the over one hundred and forty open age division players took to the courts Sunday to decide fourteen national champions.

On the brink of setting the all-time record for national titles with twenty-eight, U.S. Squash Hall of Famer Jay Nelson was denied for the third year running by Gerry Poulton in the men’s 70+ final. Unlike their 2013 and 2014 finals that Poulton clinched in three games, Nelson recovered from 2-0 down to win the third and fourth games, forcing a fifth. Poulton clinched the fifth 11-7 to win his fourth national title.

Hope Prockop took home two titles in the women's 40+ and 45+ divisions.

Hope Prockop took home two titles in the women’s 40+ and 45+ divisions.

After splitting the 35/40+ women’s finals against Juliana Lillien in 2014, Hope Prockop went one better this year, defeating her perennial finals opponent, Lillien, in the 40+, and topping the 45+ round robin to win two national titles with an undefeated tournament.

In addition to receiving the USOC Developmental Coach of the Year Award during a dinner reception Saturday night, Richard Millman earned his fifth national title against defending men’s 55+ champion Richard Sheppard.

Saturday night’s dinner reception included a moving tribute to Bob Callahan by his former classmate Deb Hodes. Wearing a Callahan memorial t-shirt in the women’s 55+ final the next day, Deb Hodes defeated Carole Grunberg to win her first national title.

One of the matches of the tournament ensued between eleven-time open age group national champion Dominic Hughes and 1994 U.S. Champion Anders Wahlstedt in the men’s 50+ final. Top-seeded Walhstedt held a two-game advantage over Hughes, which included a marathon 20-18 second game, but Hughes managed to come back and win his twelfth national title in five.

In the women’s 50+ final, Beth Fedorowich won her third 50+ title in four years, defeating Kim Clearkin in a four-game final.

2014 World Masters 75+ gold medalist Michael Gough won his first 75+ and sixth national title against Vincent Taylor.

The 2015 National Singles finalists.

The 2015 National Singles finalists.

Edward Burlingame took the eldest title, men’s 80+, going undefeated in a four-player round robin. Philip Leis finished as runner up.

After losing in a five-game final against Steve Wren in the 2014 45+ final, John Musto won his first national title, defeating Wren in a four-game final.

Having split his time officiating the professional matches and playing in men’s 40+ division, Sunny Hunt ended up on the glass court himself Sunday, where he defeated Galen Le Cheminant to win his first national title.

Playing in his first nationals, former touring professional Patrick Chifunda swept the men’s 35+ without dropping a game to win his first national title.

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