Racquetball: Double Donut Studios | Racquetball Action Photography

2009 Turkey Shoot Pro/Am Racquetball Photos

I finally got a chance to spend some time taking racquetball photos at the 2009 Sunset Athletic Club Turkey Shoot Pro-Am this past weekend! Felt good to be back in the “Double Donut Dog House” (check out the area behind the front wall window if you get a chance), and I ended up with ~1000 shots or so. This turned out to be a GREAT event with several of the top pros, and I look forward to seeing what Paul Maduell can put together for next year. Oregon would be the perfect spot for an IRT Tier 1, so I’ll definitely keep my fingers crossed. Best photo courts I’ve shot on (*slight* exception to the IRT portable court), bar none!!

Photo Gallery – 2009 Turkey Shoot Pro/Am

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1 comment November 23rd, 2009 by Geoff Thomsen

Racquetball Trading Cards

Russ Mannino was kind enough to share some his Racquetball Trading Cards.  He was even kind enough to share them 6 times ;) I really dig old school racquetball memorabilia, and think cards like these would be a great addition to the USA Racquetball Museum. Based on the description below, I’m not sure whether these are for sale through Russ’ online store, or if he is just showing off some cool stuff from his collection.

COLLECTIBLE RACQUETBALL TRADING CARDS
Some of your favorite players before they became famous. This limited edition was printed in 1992 and only forty eight of each player were made.

Ruben Gonzalez…..Sudsy Monchik…..Jason Mannino…..Malia Bailey…..
Chris Cole…..Elkova Icenogle…..Eric Storey…..John Ellis…..Kaye Kuhfeld
Tim Sweeney…..James Floyd…..James Mulcock…..

PLUS, OLYMPIC TEAMS THAT INCLUDE, Allen Engel, Heather Dunn, Sudsy Monchik, James Mulcock,
Rusty and Elkova Icenogle, Eric Muller, Doug Ganim, Tim Sweeney, Chris Cole, Malia Bailey, Jackie Paraiso, Mike Bronfield, Robin Levine and Michelle Gould.

www.racquetballgalaxy.com

Racquetball Trading Card - Elkova Icenogle Racquetball Trading Card - James Floyd

Racquetball Trading Card - Chris Cole Racquetball Trading Card - US Olympic Team - 1991

Racquetball Trading Card - Timothy Sweeney Racquetball Trading Card - Ruben Gonzalez

Racquetball Trading Card - Ruben Gonzalez2

Racquetball Trading Card - Sudsy Monchik

Racquetball Trading Card - Malia Bailey Racquetball Trading Card - Kaye Kuhfeld

Racquetball Trading Card - Jr. Olympic Team 1991 Racquetball Trading Card - Jason Mannino Sudsy Monchik

Racquetball Trading Card - Jason Mannino Racquetball Trading Card - James Mulcock

August 26th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

2008 IRT Post-Season Summary

I decided to go back and take a look at the finishes of the IRT players for the 2007-2008 season, and below you will find a summary table for all Tier 1 and Grand Slam Events – 13 in total (**except two quaterfinalists from Allentown, PA where the draws are completely MIA). The rankings you see are from about mid-season, so the actual year-end rankings are not accurate. There is a definite trend for the top 7 or so players, with the 8th spot up for grabs at each of the events. The top two athletes also dominated throughout the season, with Jack and Rocky only giving up a single tournament win to another player.

Rank Pro qtrs semis finals champion
1 HUCZEK, JACK 13 13 12 6
2 CARSON, ROCKY 13 12 10 6
3 MANNINO, JASON 11 10 3 1
4 BELTRAN, ALVARO 13 10 1
5 VANDERSON, SHANE 13 3
6 WILLIAMS, MITCH 13 1
7 CROFT, BEN 10 2
8 CROWTHER, CHRIS 7
9 THOERNER, JASON 4
10 HAWTHORNE, ANDY 3
11 MORENO, JAVIER 2 1
16 ELLIS, JOHN 1
17 GUTIERREZ, POLO 1 1

June 11th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

IRT – Pro Racquetball Trading Cards

Through some discussions with Mike Boatman, I learned that the IRT was distributing IRT Pro Player Trading Cards at the 2008 IRT Pro Nationals in Chicago! It looks like the top 10 players were included, but it’s not clear if they are intended to be for the 2007-2008 season or if they are more of a “one time thing”. These cards will apparently be sold through the IRT Store, however they weren’t listed on the site at the time of this post. I’m very curious to see the details (like cost and how many are available), so if anyone has an inside line, please comment below!

May 30th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Kane Waselenchuk Signs With Pro Kennex

Now official? Come to think of it, I haven’t received too many pro racquetball player announcements from Pro Kennex in the past, so I guess the word of Russ Mannino is as good as any :) If anyone knows what Pro Kennex is up to, it’s probably the father of their #1 player, Jason Mannino. Great news for PK officially getting Kane Waselenchuk on board, I expect to see those two guys continuing their great play for the 2008-2009 season. Also good to hear that Pro Kennex has the financial position to keep Jason around for a few more years. Someone send me some pics of Kane’s new Krowning Moment racquet!!!

Kane Waselenchuk, 3X #1 player in the world, teams up with, Jason Mannino, 2X US Open Champion, to form an intimidating presence on the 2008 – 2009 IRT Pro Tour, giving Pro Kennex two great players and unique personalities for all racquetball players and fans to watch this upcoming year.

Jason Mannino resigns up to the 2010 season.

Kane will be showcasing his new racquet, The Krowning Moment.
Jason will also be unveiling the new Pro Kennex Kinetic Quad 170, both will resale for under $200.00

1 comment May 17th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

The Return of Kane Waselenchuk

Kane Waselenchuk’s two year absence from the pro racquetball tour has seen two new IRT year-end champions crowned, and one new victor to the sport’s premiere event, the US OPEN.  As of June 2008, Kane Waselenchuk is again eligible to compete in events sanctioned by the International Racquetball Federation (IRF), and more importantly, USA Racquetball (as USAR sanctions all IRT events).  Many anticipate Kane will immediately return to the top spot in the sport, while others speculate that he’ll need some play time to get his game back on par with “big boys”.

Kane has been sporadically participating in regional exhibition events in Texas, but gets the opportunity to “level” his skills in just two days during a non-sanctioned event against Jason Mannino.  His next stop will be in Arlington, TX where he will complete against all the top ranked IRT pros in a Tier 2 … .  Hmm, just as I am writing this, it looks like the Arlington event has been “downgraded” to a one-day shootout as part of the “Triple Crown” in Texas.  Damn!  I guess if you want to see Kane play prior to his official comeback during the 2008-2009 season, you’ve got to go the “Battle of the Champions” versus Jason Maninno.

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I think many people were really looking forward to see how Kane’s game has changed after being gone for two years, and now we’ll have to wait for a few more months to see how he holds up for a full-fledged event.  This is going to be a long off-season!

The other unknown is Kane’s new equipment for the up-coming year.  He has started a relationship with Pro Kennex for his own racquet, the Krowning Moment.  Little is known about where the racquets will be sold, specs, etc.

2 comments May 13th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Photos – 2008 IRT Pro Nationals

Although Double Donut Studios did not attend the 2008 IRT Pro National Racquetball Championships, veteran racquetball photographer Mike Boatman was onsite. Besides being all all-around great guy and talented racquetball photographer, Mike is an accomplished national photographer based out of Memphis, TN. Here are a few “teasers” – head over to the galleries for the complete 145 photo set.

**** All photos Copyright 2008 Mike Boatman – www.MikeBoatman.com. ***** (please contact Mike Boatman directly for licensing inquiries)

1 comment May 11th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Twitter Digest – 2008-04-26

  • Jack Huczek and Jason Mannino both advance to the semis, where they play each other tomorrow at 330PM EST (live on http://www.espn360.com)! #
  • Rocky Carson advances to the Semi’s after a win over Chris Crowther. Looks like no upsets in the quarters! #
  • Saturday 4/26 430PM EST on http://www.espn360.com IRT Pro Nationals Racquetball LIVE Semifinal – Jason Mannino(3) vs. Jack Huczek(2) #
  • Saturday 4/26 600PM EST on http://www.espn360.com IRT Pro Nationals Racquetball LIVE Semifinal – Rocky Carson(1) vs. Alvaro Beltran(4) #
  • Pictures from the 2008 NW Regionals are processed, and will be online VERY soon! #
  • Huge thanks to the REDBULL girls for handing out FREE Redbull at the 2008 NW Regional Racquetball Champs. Your backpacks were SWEEET! #

April 26th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Battle of Champions – The Return of Kane

Battle_of_champions

Prior to his official tournament comeback in June 2008 on the IRT Tour, Kane Waselenchuk will get his “court legs” back against Jason Mannino in an exhibition match on May 15th, 2008 in Encinitas, CA. This should be a great event featuring two of the best players of all time! I’d advise anyone in the area to ATTEND (and then send pics to me to post on Double Donut)!

THE RETURN OF KANE—–BATTLE OF CHAMPIONS, Thursday, May 15, 2008
Kane Waselenchuk, 3X #1 player in the world, will make his long awaited return, with a pro style exhibition match with, 2X US Open champ and ‘ 02-’ 03 #1 player in the world,
Jason Mannino.
LA Fitness Encinitas, 201 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA., 92024, 760-753-5600.
Itinerary; 6 PM – Racquetball clinic by Jason Mannino
6;30 – Q + A with Jason and Kane
6;45 – Match
8 PM – Raffle for Pro Kennex products
Arrive early, admission is free, the entertainment will be priceless.

1 comment April 22nd, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

2007 US OPEN – The Tennis Channel Broadcast #2

Last night’s broadcast of the 2007 US OPEN Racquetball Championships on The Tennis Channel featured a quarterfinal match between 2006 US OPEN Champion Jason Mannino and 2007 US National Champion Mitch Williams.  Both players had a ton of great gets, and it was a fun match to watch.  Part way through the second game, Shawn Royster and Mike Ceresia were joined in the announcers’ booth by none other than three-time US OPEN Champion, Kane Waselenchuk.  Kane stated that he has been training hard, and will be ready to play at the first IRT stop of the 2008-2009 season.  He likened his comeback to his first years on the tour, where he will have to battle his way through the qualifiers and into the main draw.  Has anyone done the math to figure out if Kane can capture the year-end number ranking in his first year back?  The draws are going to be VERY interesting with Kane coming in as a low seed for the first several events .. can’t wait!

February 28th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

2007 US OPEN – Semifinals

Cheryl Gudinas Holmes versus Christie Van Hees

Cheryl began this match with a short serve, and that gave Christie a little momentum out of the gate. Jumping ahead 2-0 and then 5-2, it looked like Christie would be more than happy to relive last year’s final. However, Cheryl had other ideas and came back to tie the score each time. Tied at 5, Christie decided it was time to take one more lead and once she had it she closed it out.

That only served to fire Cheryl up. She’s been playing very well in recent events and that certainly continued today. The players took turns grabbing one point leads early in Game 2 until Cheryl led 4-3. At that point, there was a close call on the left side wall. That particular call went Christie’s way, but Cheryl used that and regained the momentum quickly. She built her lead to 7-3 before Christie was able to get the service back. Cheryl then kept the pressure up and built her advantage to 10-5. Christie then went on a run to bring it back to 9-10, but that was as close as she would get. Cheryl closed it out on her next service to even the game count at 1.

Each player knew they needed game three to put additional pressure on their opponent, and both players came out firing. Cheryl built a quick 2-0 lead, but Christie came right back and strung together five points for a 5-2 lead. Cheryl then pushed it up to another level and stormed back with nine straight points to close it out.

Cheryl now sensed her moment, but Christie came out for a quick 2-0 lead. Cheryl erased that right away with four straight points. At that point, they started trading points with some amazing shots. At 10-8, Cheryl served another short serve, but quickly regrouped with a side out. She would end in on her next serve and now looks forward to another championship final on the stadium court at the 12th Choice Hotels US OPEN.

Rhonda Rajsich versus Angela Grisar

This one started fairly slow as both players adapted to their surroundings on the stadium court. Eventually Rhonda put a run together to grab a 7-1 lead, but Angela started to calm her nerves and got back into the game at 4-7. Playing on the stadium court seemed to hinder Angela’s usual precise shots as she had a few serves go out of bounds on the fly for side outs and Rhonda continued to take advantage. Building her lead, very slowly Rhonda inched her way to game one 11-7.

Game two was a back and forth affair as Angela was able to grab her first lead of the match. Playing very controlled and smooth, she built a 7-3 lead before she stalled. Rhonda increased the pressure with some incredible diving kills and was able to end the game with an 8-1 run.

Rhonda’s momentum seemed to be building but Angela refused to go down without a fight. She grabbed a quick 2-0 lead, but now Rhonda sensed her opportunity. She knew she didn’t want to let Angela get comfortable and she moved the score to 2-2 with another great show of athleticism. Angela briefly grabbed a 3-2 lead, but once Rhonda got the lead back, she wouldn’t give it up. 11-3 to Rhonda and onward to the finals here at the 12th Choice Hotels US OPEN Racquetball Championships.

Rocky Carson vs Jason Mannino

Rocky came into this one very focused. Brimming with confidence from his recent win in Albuquerque combined with his first Grand Slam title in Colorado Springs, he could see the ultimate prize out there and he decided to grab it. keeping Jason on the defensive from the outset, Rocky stormed out to a 2 games lead. But Stadium Court at the Racquet Club of Memphis is like a second home for Jason and he wasn’t about to let some outsider in. Being the only former champion in the draw, he didn’t want to see someone else’s name go on the Silver Champions Cup and he blitzed Rocky in the third game 11-1. The crowd started to sense a comeback, but it was not to be. Rocky regrouped and managed to pull out a point for point battle in the 4th game to take the match and earn his second successive Choice Hotels US OPEN Final berth.

Jack Huczek vs Shane Vanderson

Shane had another amazing battle with Alvaro yesterday, and that seemed to take something out of him. And when you have to play the number 1 player that’s not a good thing. Jack took advantage of a slightly sluggish Shane and closed this one in 3. Shane did put up a good fight and probably should have won the second, but Jack proved that his ranking is a true reflection of his character. He’s onto the final tomorrow of the 12th Choice Hotels US OPEN.

November 17th, 2007 by Adam Katz

The King is back!

While still unsigned by a major sponsor, Kane Waselenchuk was able to reclaim his unofficial title of “best player on tour” with a win over Rocky Carson in the finals of the San Diego Open Racquetball Championships this weekend.  All questions of Kane’s physical and mental focus were laid to rest after his 5-game victory in the finals.

Another player making waves at this event was SoCal’s own Rocky Carson.  He first upset number four seed Alvaro Beltran, followed by a five game stunner over number five Jason Mannino.  Looks like Carson’s win over Mannino at the 2005 US Open was no fluke.  Carson kept steam into the finals, but there was no stopping Kane’s victorious return to the tour.

Great Tournament Re-cap on IRT-Tour.com

Pro Singles Draw - 2006 San Diego Open

February 27th, 2006 by Geoff Thomsen

Jack Takes NY!

Well, the New York City Pro-Am Racquetball Championships turned into a great event for IRT matchups! Huczek starts tough with four game victories first over Mike Guidry in the quarterfinals and then Jason Mannino in the semis. Vanderson capitalizes on a Kane Waselenchuk forfeit for a spot in the lower semis, while Alvaro Beltran wins a 3-hour, 5-game battle royale with Cliff Swain for his. Beltran then moves to face Huczek in the finals after four close games with Vandy. The finals were close, but Huczek closed out the first three games for his second consecutive title of the season.

IRT-Tour Recap
Great MeetandPlay Recap (Thanks Vin C!)

January 23rd, 2006 by Geoff Thomsen

Pro Nationals Gallery Update

Work is finally getting underway to get the 2005 Pro Nationals Gallery all up to date.

Photo Processing Completed!

Matches posted: 17
Matches remaining: 0 !!

2005 IRT Pro Nationals Gallery

May 9th, 2005 by Geoff Thomsen

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