Take a look back at some of the highlights from the past year at CitySquash!
On December 20th, two CitySquashers made their way up to New Haven, CT for the 2016 U.S. Junior Open Squash Championships. The U.S. Open is one of the largest and toughest tournaments on the junior circuit, with over 900 competitors from thirty-seven countries. The CitySquash players who competed at the tournament, Jesse Brew and Victoria Haghighi, stepped up to the challenge and produced some great results against the worldly competition. Jesse had the opportunity to compete against players from Mexico and Egypt, and finished in the top quarter of his division. Victoria also had a strong weekend, making it to the final day of the tournament. Congratulations to Victoria and Jesse on a great tournament!
December 11-15 marked the 7th biennial Briggs Cup, a professional doubles tournament benefitting CitySquash. With a purse of $100,000, the Briggs Cup remains the largest doubles event in the world. This year, the tournament included a professional women’s draw alongside the men’s pro competition and four pro-am draws. On the women’s side, top seeds Dana Betts & Steph Hewitt held off the second seeds to win the title in five. In the men’s draw, legendary duo Damien Mudge & Ben Gould captured their first Briggs Cup in their final professional appearance together.
Since the inaugural event in 2003, the tournament has netted over $1,000,000 for CitySquash and has played an important role in supporting CitySquash’s team members and raising awareness for the organization. Thank you to the Tournament Director and honoree Peter Briggs, and the event’s co-chairs – Tom Clayton, Steve Mandel, Peer Pedersen, Artie Schwabe, and Brian Walsh – for bringing everyone together for such a memorable weekend and supporting CitySquash!
CitySquash’s Middle School teams cruised to victory at the NUSEA Trinity Invitational at Trinity College this past weekend, winning the Girls’ and Boys’ Middle School A divisions at the tournament. Both of CitySquash’s A teams opened the weekend with 5-0 wins over the host, Capitol Squash. They followed that triumph by blanking StreetSquash 5-0 in both the girls and boys divisions. CitySquash capped-off the weekend with two 5-0 wins over Squash Haven in the finals. Congratulations to all CitySquash team members who competed this past weekend and thank you to NUSEA and Capitol Squash for organizing a great event.
CitySquash MS “A” Boys Team:
CitySquash MS “A” Girls Team:
12 CitySquash college students just started the 2015-2016 squash season playing for their respective Varsity teams. At Franklin & Marshall, senior Cris Margaret Frias and sophomore Andreina Benedith started off the season with matches against Drexel, UVA, Columbia, and Bowdoin, where Andreina faced off against fellow CitySquasher Mariela Mendoza. Other college student-athletes include Bates junior Darrius Campbell, who is playing in the top three of the Bobcat’s ladder and has gone undefeated this season in matches against Stanford, Brown, and Wesleyan. Junior Andrew Cadienhead at Middlebury is also hoping to have a strong season as the Panthers look to jump into the top 16. Junior Felipe Pantle, and freshmen Gabe Garcia and Stacy Maceda will all play together this year on the Hobart and William Smith teams. Close to home, Fordham University freshman William Pantle won his first collegiate match against NYU playing at the home courts at Fordham with a CitySquash cheering squad! Lastly, junior Kingsley Amoako is looking to continue on the successes of former CitySquash and St. Lawrence teammate Chris Fernandez. We will be cheering for all of our college student-athletes this season, and can’t wait to see how they do in the upcoming season!
On November 19th, 56 CitySquash mentors and mentees headed to the Upper West Side to Wang Chen’s Table Tennis Club for the fourth annual Mentor-Mentee Ping Pong Night. For a few of our 5th grade team members, this was the first time they were able to meet their mentor in-person, and for others it was another chance to catch-up with a longtime mentor and friend. In addition to battling it out on the ping-pong tables, our mentors and mentees bonded over pizza. CitySquash is very lucky to have such a dedicated and caring group of mentors. Thank you to all who attended and for your help in supporting our team members!
Last Sunday, nine runners completed the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon as part of CitySquash’s 2015 Marathon Team. Our runners spent months training to run the 26.2 miles while simultaneously fundraising for CitySquash. In total, the group has raised over $29,000 for CitySquash. On race day, CitySquash staff and students traveled to mile three in Brooklyn and mile 22 in the Bronx to support our runners. Fifth grader Emani and ninth grader Sh-Kyrah got the chance to cheer on their mentors, and all of the team members were excited to give high-fives to CitySquash Brooklyn’s Director of Squash Kathryn Brummer, and CitySquash’s Executive Director, Terence Li, who were part of the Marathon Team!
Congratulations to all of our runners: Kathryn Brummer, Joycee Darby, Kyla Harrington, Ally Huchro, Geer LeBoutillier, Terence Li, Ryan Mitchell, Niko Riefkohl, Edward Staunton! Thank you for your hard work on behalf of CitySquash and thanks to all who supported the 2015 CitySquash Marathon Team!
On Sunday, October 25th 170 CitySquash team members, parents, mentors, supporters, and volunteers came to CitySquash’s home-base in the Bronx at Fordham University for a day of sports, competition, and fun at the 5th Annual Black & Orange Day! With team members and supporters from both the Bronx and Brooklyn programs, this year’s Black & Orange was the largest to-date. Participants were split into teams and competed on the squash courts, in relay races and soccer, and in a strategy competition called The Circle Challenge. The CitySquash field day was a fun way to introduce new volunteers to the program, our students and their families. Photos from the day can be found in the gallery and on our Facebook page. Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to this year’s winners, the Black team!
Over the past few weeks, eight CitySquashers have started their first year at independent day and boarding schools, and 12 CitySquashers have headed off to their freshman year of college. Since CitySquash’s launch in 2002, 57 CitySquash students have been admitted to selective independent schools, and 50 CitySquashers have been admitted to selective colleges throughout the country. Good luck to these team members as they settle into their new schools.
Caleb Boateng – Brunswick School
Victoria Haghighi – Brooks School
Alexander Lorenzo – Eaglebrook School
Christopher Lucero – Loomis Chaffee
Tanya Mendoza – Tabor Academy
Dylan Ram – Fordham Preparatory School
Juan Santos – Poly Prep Country Day
Xitlali Zuniga – Westover School
Miguel Betances – Niagara University
Nicole Cedeno – SUNY Geneseo
Leondre Damil – Monroe College
Gabriel Garcia – Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Elaine Hualoto – Westchester Community College
Michael Kelly – St. Lawrence University
Stacy Maceda – Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Allan Mendez – New York City College of Technology
Mariela Mendoza – Bowdoin College
William Pantle – Fordham University
Laura Polanco – Lafayette College
Julian Wilmore – New York City College of Technology
To kick off the new season, 117 CitySquash team members and staff travelled to Lake Placid for a four-day wilderness retreat at Camp Monserrate and Camp Holy Child. This year’s retreat marked the first trip that students from the Bronx and Brooklyn teams took together – making it the largest team outing in CitySquash history. Team members spent the week hiking, swimming, and competing in field games in the CitySquash Cabin Cup Challenge. Team members summitted five different peaks in the Adirondacks–Ampersand, McKenzie, Whiteface, Cascade, and Haystack . On the last night of the trip, team members had the opportunity to hear CitySquash college students and alumni reflect on their experiences with CitySquash. The weeklong adventure was a great way to kick-off the school year! A big thank you to the Reiss Family who graciously hosted the team!