Junior Nationals coverage

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Majorie Hodson reported on the Championship for PTM:

Once again, the future of platform tennis descended on Beacon Hill Club in Summit, NJ. Fifty-six pairs of juniors competed in four age groups for the right to be called National Champions and wear the coveted medals. These APTA Junior Nationals featured competitive matches and unparalleled sportsmanship. And these kids can play!

Check-in and lunch at Beacon Hill Club preceded a group photo. Players then dispersed to nearby clubs (Canoe Brook Country Club, Short Hills Club and The Racquets Club of Short Hills) to begin the competition. Following round robin play in all age groups, finalists returned to Beacon Hill to finish the tournament.

In 10 & Under play, reigning champ Pete DonnaHy paired with last year’s finalist James Burke to defeat Karen Cash, Donnally’s partner a year ago, and Evan Zimmer. Twenty-one pairs vied for the crown in this age group.

The 12 & Under Champions, Henry Burchenal and John Donnally, overcame familiar opponents Tanner Combias and Nick Hellmuth, who they see regularly during clinics at Beacon Hill Club.

14 & Under winner Lauren Cash returned to competition this year with partner Brandon Kuchta. The former 12 & Under champions missed the event last year because of Lauren’s broken arm. They overcame Peter Hissey and Mark Herzlich in an exciting final. Look for 11-year-old Peter to appear in many more Nationals finals. (He hopes that future competitions don’t interfere with his watching the
Eagles play, however).

Defending 18 & Under champions Anthony and Will Nunziata were denied a three-peat by their long-time foe Tyler Gaffney, who teamed this year with Dieg Rodriguez. Gaffney and Rodriguez displayed excellent racquet skills to overcome their opponents.

Sponsors Viking Athletics. New Jersey Men’s Platform Tennis Association, New Jersey Women’s Platform Tennis League, R. J. Reilly, and “A Friend of Junior Paddle” helped to make the day special for the 112 juniors who participated.

Source: Platform Tennis Magazine Vol. 3, Issue 4, February, 2002