The twelve young men and women representing Team USA at the 2018 World Junior Championships in India, July 18-29, have been announced.
The 2018 edition of the world juniors will feature the biennial Men’s World Junior Team Championship and annual Men’s and Women’s World Junior Individual Championships at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai, the sixth largest city in India.
The U.S. Junior Men’s Team features and entire squad of four first-time team players, and will be led by recently-crowned national champion, Daelum Mawji, and finalist and 2017 individuals competitor, Tiber Worth. Ayush Menon and sixteen-year-old Thomas Rosini round out the four-player team with both players set to make their world juniors debuts. DeRoy Sportsmanship Award recipient Eric Kim returns for his second world junior individual competition, and sixteen-year-old Dillon Huang occupies the developmental spot in the individual competition.
The U.S. Junior Men’s Team team will hope to emulate the 2016 team that achieved a record finish of third place.
“The boys team has a young and exciting look this year,” said Alex Stait, U.S. Junior Men’s Head Coach. “Two of the boys that made the squad are both just sixteen years old and available for the team competition in two years time. The boys are inspired by the team two years ago getting the best ever performance in U.S. history and are looking forward to working as hard as they can to back up that performance. I am excited by the look of the team, they have lots of potential and are ready to work hard and be at their best for India.”
The Men’s World Junior Team Championship will take place July 24-29 following the Men’s and Women’s World Junior Individual Championships July 18-23. Stait will be joined by U.S. Junior Assistant National Coach Simba Muwhati in leading the U.S. Junior Men’s Team. All twelve team members will step up their training with three national squads leading into the world juniors, May 4-7, June 8-10 and July 13.
“During the national squads we aim to set up a training program for the boys during the build up to the championships,” Stait said. “We will make sure our team spirit and togetherness is there as there will be tough times in India and it is vitally important to have great team spirit. The players will be pushing each other to improve and the aim in the squads and their training is to get them as best prepared tactically, physically and mentally as we can in the time we have together. Simba and I are very excited to lead this team and we all feel very honored to represent Team USA on the world stage. I feel very confident that the players will represent Team USA in the best possible way with tough competitiveness and great sportsmanship.”
In contrast to the U.S. Junior Men’s Team, the U.S. Junior Women’s Individuals squad will field an experienced side with four returning members of the 2017 world juniors squad, Marina Stefanoni, Elle Ruggiero, Laila Sedky and Elisabeth Ross. Caroline Spahr and U17 national champion Meghna Sreedhar are both set to make their world juniors debuts.
“I am excited for the group heading to India,” said Scott Devoy, U.S. Junior Women’s Head Coach. “It’s a young team but still has experience with four returning players from last years event. The girls are really motivated to build off the success of last year and keep the U.S. at the top end of the world stage.”
At fifteen years old, three-time junior national champion Stefanoni will aim to improve on her 2017 quarterfinal finish in what will be her third appearance in the world junior individual competition.
“Having four players with experience at this level will keep the team strong and challenge each other,” Devoy said. “One of our greatest strengths is our ability to come together as a team, challenge each other and bring out the best in everyone. Along with the boys team and the coaching staff, it promises to be another great summer.”
Team USA is set to depart for Chennai on July 14.