by Kim Schramm. Photos Toni van der Kreek.
109 junior players converged on the Mackay Leisure Centre to compete in the Queensland Junior Squash Championships.
62 boys will battle each other for four days as they compete for 5 State Titles: U11; U13; U15; U17 and U19. 47 girls will do exactly the same. A mixed Under 21 event is also being conducted.
The Individual championships will run from 26 June to Wednesday 29 June. The Teams Championship will see the four Regions of Queensland battle for bragging rights from Friday 1 July to Sunday 3 July.
45 players are competing from Northern Region with 29 from Mackay, 9 from Cairns, 5 from Ingham and 2 from Townsville.
Traditionally, on the opening day of competition many players receive byes and where matches are played they can be very one sided events with generally the higher seeded player dominating their rival.
88 matches were scheduled on Day 1. 72 matches were decided in 3 games whilst 14 extended to four games with 2 matches requiring five games to decide who would advance.
The highlight of the day involved the 8 v 9 match up between Rockhampton’s Tegan Scobie (8) and Mackay’s Summer Palmer(9) in the Girls U19 event.
Palmer got off to a great start winning the first but Scobie doesn’t give up without a fight. The see sawing match saw Palmer win a close contest 11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 in 41 minutes.
In an all Mackay matchup (Boys U17) Michael Sutherland (12) came back from 1 game to 2 down to outlast Zac Houston (13) 7-11, 11- 7, 5-11,11-9, 11-6 in 40 minutes.
The longest two matches recorded on day one took 47 minutes to decide a winner. One involved Mackay’s Wes Dyer (7) beating Maroochydore’s Josh Penfold (10) 14-12, 12- 14, 11-9, 11- 8 in a very close Boys U17 encounter.
In the other match Mackay’s Danielle Hankinson (10) put up a good fight against Brisbane’s Zoe Lockton (7) but couldn’t stretch the match to a 5 th game. Lockton ultimately won 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5.
Many eyes will be watching the Brisbane trio bound for Poland in August to compete at the World Junior Championships. Alex Eustace, Jon van der Kreek and Nicholas Calvert are competing in the Boys U19 blue ribbon event. Calvert is also #1 seed in the Boys U17 event.
On Day 1 all 3 boys advanced comfortably to the next round.
Local eyes will be on Hayley Hankinson (current Australian Junior Champion) competing in the Girls U15 event, Wes Dyer Boys U15 and U17 and BJ MacDonald Boys U13 and U15. All three players are seeded in the top 4 in their main age group.
Hankinson enjoyed a bye on Day 1. With both boys playing in two events, MacDonald and Dyer advanced with two victories each.
In another all Mackay match up Payton Douglas (2) beat Kayce Hoani-Vincent 8-11, 11- 8, 11-7, 12-10 in a tight Girls U11 contest. Douglas recovered from losing the first game to win the next three in 31 minutes.
Full draws and results can be viewed here at Tournament Software.
For more information contact Kim Schramm on 0407 126 911