Caroline Fouts upset top seed Lucie Stefanoni to win back-to-back U19 national titles, while Rishi Srivastava overcame Hollis Robertson in a marathon five-game final to earn his first U19 national title Sunday, March 19, at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.
Nearly 300 of the nation’s top juniors competed across U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19 age divisions. View all results on the Junior Nationals Tournament Page. Tournament photography is available on the US Squash Smugmug page.
The GU19 final was a repeat of the 2022 final between top seed Lucie Stefanoni and Caroline Fouts who have faced each other frequently over the last two seasons. It was Fouts who came out on top in three close games as Stefanoni marked the end of her junior career 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 in thirty-one minutes.
“It’s a great feeling and surreal to win back to back titles,” Fouts said. “Lucie and I battled all season long from last season all the way through every JCT this season. I think we knew we had it out for each other and just played as hard as we could until the end. So I’m really pleased to end the season on a strong note. I’d like to thank my coach Luke Butterworth and his whole team at LB Squash and my parents for putting up with me through the highs and the lows of every tournament. US Squash put on an amazing tournament like they do through the whole season at every JCT. I’m just really happy to end the season on a positive note with a win.”
The tournament culminated with a packed gallery of players, parents and coaches enjoying a display of skill and sportsmanship between Srivastava and Hollis. The top two seeds went back and forth in an hour-long contest with the Philadelphia native Srivastava coming back from 2-1 down to capture his first U19 title 11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7.
“The competition is so high here I’m just so happy all of my hard work paid off,” Srivastava said. “The level you have to produce to beat someone like Hollis is just crazy, and the level he makes you play is out of this world. I’m just really happy my coaches were able to really work hard with me to get me in the right physical and mental shape to find a way to get through those big matches. I want to thank my parents and my coaches and everyone that helped me, I truly feel like I’m a product of everyone that’s around me and I’m just really grateful to finally get this trophy.”
Both U17 top seeds earned their first national title. Alexander Dartnell defeated Oscar Okonkwo in a three-game final, while Charlotte Pastel defeated Eliza Schuster in a four-game final.
The BU15 final came down between top seed Jack Elriani and two seed Yaseen Shalaby. Elriani edged a close five-game final 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 12-14, 11-4 to claim his second national title, adding to his U11 title. GU15 four seed Riya Shankaran produced a semifinal upset over the top seed and defeated two seed Riva Bhagwati in the final 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 11-8 to win her first national title.
Carlton Capella pulled off a three-peat in the BU13 division, dropping just one game all tournament in the final against three seed Jude Cha. Isabella Tang earned her first national title upsetting the GU13 top seed in the semifinals and two seed in the final.
GU11 Three seed Amrita Swaminathan captured her first national title without dropping a game all tournament, upsetting top seed Kaylee Li in the final. BU11 top seed Graeson Smith earned his first national title with a 3-1 final victory over three seed Charles Craigen.
The U.S. Junior Awards Night was held following the U.S. Junior Squash Championships semifinals and featured the presentation of the DeRoy Sportsmanship Award, Age Division Sportsmanship Awards and the William T. Ketcham Jr. Award for most improved player.
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