Meagan gives her best
Junior squash champion causes upset at US Open
Five of Barbados’ top junior squash players have represented themselves well thus far but it is Meagan Best who caused a sensational upset on day two yesterday at the 2014 US Junior Squash Open being held at the squash complex at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
In the U-13 draw which has attracted 57 entries from across the globe, Meagan Best, the current Barbados and Caribbean U-13 champion has continued her hot form from the Canadian Junior Open last week and has mercilessly cut through the field to reach the quarter-finals despite being an unseeded player. She has won her first three encounters all at 3-0. After dispatching Maureen Foley (USA) 11-3, 11-2, 11-2 in the first round on Saturday, the strongly built Best then overran Carolina Salvatore 11-4, 11-0, 11-0 the following day before blitzing the #6 seeded Julia Chai 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 yesterday evening to move into today’s quarter-final round at her first attempt at this level. Best faced the No. 5 seed Avni Arnand this morning and was looking for a historic place in the US Junior Open semi-final. She is already assured of at least a top eight finish in one of the major junior tournaments on the World Junior circuit.
In other action over the past two days, tiny Barbadian Sumairaa Suleman playing in the U-11 division won her first round match 3-0 against Rhea Pandit from New York, but then lost 0-3 to Isabella Rhonda another New Yorker and moved into the consolation draw where she lost in five close games to Anne Bunn 11-4, 3-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5.
Barbados has three representatives in the boy’s divisions with the Barbados and Caribbean U-13 champion, Khamal Cumberbatch, who is seeded here at #9/16, defeating the Egyptian Yousef El Sobehy 3-0 in the first round before being knocked into the 2nd round consolation draw by another Egyptian, Ibrahim Mohamed who won 3-0. Cumberbatch has already defeated Roha Iyer 3-0 and faced David Costales from Ecuador in the next round earlier today.
In the very competitive U-17 age group Barbadian Zachary Proverbs-Harris lost his first round match 0-3 and then lost 1-3 in the consolation draw first round to move into the Plate where he defeated Guatemalan Jose Cruz Gomes 3-0 in his first match before going down 0-3 to Faraaz Ahmar of Florida and is now out of the competition.
In the U-15 age group Josiah Shemane Griffith defeated New Yorker Jack Vanderhorst 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 before being dumped into the consolation draw by Cole Koeppel 9-11, 7-11, 6-11. Since then Griffith has made good progress, beating Gordon Lam (CAN) 3-1 and then American Morgan Huberman 3-0 to reach the last 16 in this draw.
Michael Best, the Barbados junior team manager this year and Meagan’s dad was delighted with the performance of Barbadian players thus far.
“Everyone is doing well so far but this is a proud moment for Meagan especially and for all Barbados. To reach the last eight in such a prestigious tournament with competitors from all over the world shows that in squash little Barbados can compete with the very best out there.”
There are 906 juniors entered this year in the US Junior Open in eight age group categories (U-13, U-15, U-17, and U-19) for boys and girls. The tournament commenced on December 20 and ends tomorrow.