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The IRT at the 35th Annual McNamara Minnesota Hall of Fame

by Karen Grisz and Todd Boss

The long-standing McNamara Minnesota Hall of Fame tournament is not only a favorite IRT pro stop, it’s also one of the midwest’s largest junior racquetball fundraisers. Thanks to all of the sponsors and supporters of this amazing event.

The event featured 32 players in the pro singles draw and 14 teams in doubles, setting up another battle among the best in the world.

Singles Recap

In the round of 32s, the action started fast. John Goth (21 seed) got the biggest upset of the round, taking out #12 Robert Collins in a tiebreaker. 13-seed Jaime Martell was taken to a tiebreaker by veteran Guatemalan Juan Salvatierra , though after a close first game loss, he seemed to find his rhythm – he won 13-15, 15-1, 11-2. Reigning 18 and under world champ Jhonatan Flores held his own against #3 Jake Bredenbeck, losing by the respectable score-line of 15-5, 15-10. #10 Erick Trujillo was shocked in game one against Guatemalan Edwin Galicia 15-4, but rebounded to take the next two 15-13 and 11-2 to move on and avoid the upset.

In the 16s, two upsets by seed, but perhaps not unexpected:

#11 Kane Waselenchuk, continuing his return journey, topped #6 Andres Acuna with ease, 15-2, 15-6. Kane looks like he is moving around better with each tournament.

#10 Erick Trujillo beat #7 Alan Natera 15-7, 15-9 and makes a statement about the current pecking order of Mexican racquetball. Trujillo, who burst onto the scene a couple years ago and then kind of scuffled against his like-aged competitors, has really stepped it up this year on tour.

In the Quarters

#1 Conrrado Moscoso made fast work of #8 Thomas Carter.

#4 Andree Parrilla held on to get past his doubles partner this weekend #5 Adam Manilla in a tiebreaker. After losing the first game 13-15, Parrilla found another gear and won 15-3, 11-2.

#3 Jake Bredenbeck was not able to stop Kane’s run, and lost 15-13, 15-8.

#2 Rodrigo Montoya was pressed by the young Trujillo but held on 15-4, 15-14.

In the Semis

 #1 Moscoso returned to the final and guaranteed that he’ll greatly extend his lead at the top of the tour by topping #4 Parrilla 15-10, 15-11.

 #11 Waselenchuk played a fascinating match against #2 Montoya. The first game was back and forth, a great contest between two of the better power servers the game has seen. Kane’s method of operations is to use his pinpoint accuracy to end rallies on balls where he can set his feet, but Montoya time and again made fantastic anticipating or diving gets to extend rallies. Kane held on to win game one 15-14 but Montoya countered with a relatively dominant game two win 15-7 to push it to the breaker. Early in game 3, a call went against Montoya that he didn’t like and he seemed to drift focus-wise for a few points. Suddenly it was 7-2 down before he called time out and the damage was done. 

In the Finals, we got another fantastic matchup against the former King and the likely future King of the sport. Moscoso, who has returned to his foot-faulting ways, was forced to deal with a line judge in the final and had multiple calls go against him.   The first game was a battle with Kane winning 15-13.  He then was a man on a mission, winning game two 15-2.

Kane returns to the winner’s circle, winning his 125th career title. It has been nearly two years since Kane won an IRT title, as he’s gone through quite a journey of injury recovery.  He also, at the age of 42 years and 114 days, becomes the oldest player ever to win a Tier 1, besting Ruben Gonzalez’ former record by a year and a half.

35th Annual McNamara Minnesota Hall of Fame Champion Kane Waselenchuk
Photo by: International Racquetball Tour

Doubles

The doubles draw saw Natera and Acuna beat the Bredenbecks in the quarters, and then top ranked Rodrigo Montoya playing with Kurtis Cullen  get into the final by beating #2 Moscoso/Kadim Carrasco, but they played just a handful of points before the final was called off due to injury to Montoya. #1 Adam Manilla & Andree Parrilla cruise to the title.

Sponsors from the 35th Annual McNamara Minnesota Hall of Fam
Photo by: International Racquetball Tour

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