Racquetball: Double Donut Studios | Racquetball Action Photography

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

New Pro Contracts

‘Tis the time of year that the major equipment manufacturers start announcing any new contracts with Pro level players. This list is not comprehensive of all Pro players, as many are in the middle of existing contracts. Here is a quick summary:

Ektelon:

  • Rhonda Rajsich – 2 year contract

Head:

  • Shane Vanderson – 3 year contract
  • Jason Thoerner – 3 year contract
  • Mike Guidry – 2 1/2 year contract
  • Mike Green – 2 year contract
  • Ryan Smith – 2 year contract

Wilson:

  • Kerri Wachtel

Pro Kennex:

  • Kane Waselenchuk (*** no official word has been released to date, but Kane has been seen on event posters with his new “Krowning Moment” racquet. It appears to be his own line, produced by Pro Kennex – as noted by the Pro Kennex logo on the posters and racquet stencil)

E-Force:

Gearbox:

I’ll update this list as any new information surfaces ..

3 comments April 22nd, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Sunset Athletic Club Stadium Court Expansion – Grand Opening

Sunset Athletic Club, located in Portland, OR, hosted the grand opening of their stadium court expansion last night. To help kick things off, Shane Vanderson and Jason Thoerner were on hand for an exhibition match and “play the pro”. Also thanks to Mitch Williams for attending (and reffing), who made the trip despite being a little under the weather. We also got a special visit from some of the USA Racquetball staff, who are in town for this weekend’s USAR High School Nationals event.

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Paul Maduell, the club’s racquetball director, ensured fun was had by all with free give-aways and refreshments courtesy of Widmer Brothers Brewing Company.

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The new courts are SPECTACULAR, with tons of room for viewing matches, movable back walls to convert for squash, and my favorite – photos windows in both front walls! IMO, this will be THE premiere club in the Northwest for hosting big events (now all we need is some prize money for the IRT or WPRO!!).

If you’re ever in town, you’ll also want to take a look at the expansion’s featured artwork – Courtesy of Double Donut Studios! :) A few of featured photos were blown up to ~8′x8′ and mounted on the walls above the viewing area.

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Check out the gallery for all the pics ..

February 26th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Update

Lots of racquetball action coming up in the days and weeks ahead. First, the Choice Hotels US OPEN from November 2007 starts airing with Quarterfinal #1 tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb 6) at 9pm Eastern Time on the Tennis Channel. If you get the Tennis Channel, check it out!

Update: The Tennis Channel has revised their scheduling and the Choice Hotels US OPEN will not air tonight as previously reported. The first installment is now scheduled to air on Wed. Feb 20 at 9pm Eastern Time. Check out the following link to better track the schedule on the Tennis Channel.

http://tennischannel.com/schedule/index.aspx

Then the WPRO is in Tempe, AZ for the Ektelon Fireball Rollout this coming weekend Feb 7-10. You can follow the draws at the following link:

http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=3701

The following weekend will be the USAR National Doubles Championships also in Tempe, AZ. You can follow all the action at the following link:

http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=2459

Also, Racquetballonline.tv will be there showing all the best matches…check them out at:

http://www.racquetballonline.tv

As a reminder, Jacqueline Paraiso and Aimee Ruiz are the defending champions in the Women’s Qualifying Division and there is plenty of stiff competition as they try to repeat. Current WPRO #1 Rhonda Rajsich will team with Janel Tisinger once again, WPRO #2 Cheryl Gudinas Holmes will team with former Junior Team member, Shannon Inglesby, Kristin Walsh and Kim Russell-Walselenchuk will also be in the hunt.

The Men’s Qualifying Division has some interesting pairings as the defending champions, Ben Croft and Mitch Williams will split up and play with their usual partners, Woody Clouse and Jason Thoerner, respectively. It’ll be interesting to see how the seedings play out as 2006 champions, Rocky Carson and Jack Huczek return looking to regain the crown. Also in the fray will be John Ellis along with Junior Team Member Jose Rojas, fresh off his gold-silver performance at Junior Worlds in the 16s and 18s respectively.

Not playing in the Qualifying division, but still returning to competitive play will be one of the legends of the sport as Cliff Swain has entered the Men’s 40s and the Mixed Open.

Closing out a very busy February, the IRT will be at the Washington Athletic Club for the Seattle Open Feb 21-24, check out their website for further information at:

http://www.irt-tour.com

The USAR Junior Nationals will run June 25-29 at the Big C Athletic Club in Concord, CA. At the current time, I am uncertain of my attendance as I am trying to go to Beijing this coming August for the Summer Olympics.

Team Colorado will be raffling off a framed jersey autographed by one of the following Colorado sports players: Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, or Joe Sakic in order to help pay for the trip out to Junior Nationals. At the current time, I am not sure which jersey will be made for raffle as I won’t be getting those until early March during a dinner at the Pepsi Center. Once details are finalized I will let everyone know how they can obtain tickets.

That’s all for now.

February 5th, 2008 by Adam Katz

2006 National Singles Photos – Men’s Semifinals

MS1 – Jack Huczek def. Shane Vanderson (15-11, 15-1)

- Full Double Donut Gallery 

MS2 – Rocky Carson def. Jason Thoerner (15-4, 15-5)

- Full Double Donut Gallery

June 10th, 2006 by Geoff Thomsen

2006 National Singles Photos – Men’s Open Quarterfinals

Quarterfinal 1 – Jack Huczek def. Chris Crowther (15-9, 15-8 )

- MQ1 Double Donut Gallery

Chris Crowther proved he has what it takes to hang with the big boys, but ended up being no match for the number two player in the world, Jack Huczek. Jack chased down everything on the court, and kept things under control with his amazing consistency.


Jack Huczek takes advantage of a pinned Chris Crothwer,
and forces him to the air. Photo: Geoff Thomsen

Chris Crowther smashes a serve to Jack Huczek in
the first quarterfinal match. Photo: Geoff Thomsen

Quarterfinal 2 – Shane Vanderson def. Andy Hawthorne (15-8, 15-7)

- MQ2 Double Donut Gallery

Shane started this match missing some shots he was previously killing in the 16′s. Andy came out strong, and with his AWESOME getting ability he kept the scores close for most of the game. Shane’s THUNDER backhand and forehand serve returns proved to be too much to handle, and he took the match in two straight games.


Shane Vanderson blasts a photon past Hawthorne. Photo: Geoff Thomsen

Andy Hawthorne gets some hangtime to cover a
backhand rocket delivered by Vanderson. Photo: Geoff Thomsen

Quarterfinal 3 – Jason Thoerner def. Mitch Williams (15-14, 14-15, 11-7)

- MQ3 Double Donut Gallery

Let’s just say that this was the match of the event. Both players giving 110%, both on top of their game, and neither willing to give up on a single rally. The first game ended with Thoerner on top at 15-14, over an hour after the start of the match. After an entire game of controvertial calls (just ask Thoerner), Mitch leaves the court the victor of game 2 at 15-14. Just so there was no doubt, Jason leaves the court shouting “2 against 1 .. 3 against 1 … I WILL NOT BE DENIED” refering to the refs who didn’t see things his way. The tie breaker followed the same path as the previous two games, with both players in it till the end. Jason made a few crucial shots late in the match to seal his spot in the semifinals.


Jason Thoerner refuses to let the forehand pass go, and
makes an incredible return in the back court. Photo: Geoff Thomsen

Put another “check” in the “hustle” box for Mitch Williams, as another
kill from Thoerner is scraped off the court. Photo: Geoff Thomsen

Quarterfinal 4 – Rocky Carson def. Micah Rich (15-2, 15-3)

- MQ4 Double Donut Gallery

After amazing upsets over Doug Ganim and John Ellis, Micah started this match with nothing to lose. Whether out of gas from the previous rounds, or simply out-classed in these quarterfinals, he couldn’t get things started against Rocky. Carson simply flat killed every serve return, and made sure no rally went more than 2 or 3 hits. Carson would end both games quickly, and have plenty of gas left in the tank for a semifinal matchup against Jason Thoerner.


Rocky Carons hustles down a ball in the front court. Photo: Geoff Thomsen

Micah Rich gets ready for a forehand setup during his
quarterfinal match with Carson. Photo: Geoff Thomsen
DOUBLE DONUT GALLERY – 2006 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships

June 5th, 2006 by Geoff Thomsen

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