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US Open Championship Update 2016

October 17th, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS to my “Championship Team”

…Paola Longoria for winning her 7th US Open title and Rocky Carson finishing in the Finals

CONGRATULATIONS to my “Junior Championship Team”

…Jordan Cooperrider and Mitchell Turner for winning 1 Silver & 2 Bronze Medals

The 2016 United Healthcare US Open Championships held in Minneapolis, MN was an amazing event.  It was held at the Life Time Fitness Center, inside the Target Center, and there were 800+ participants, 18 countries and $67,000.00 in prize money. The 21st annual event was the biggest and most widely viewed event in racquetball history.

All http://www.irtnetwork.com/ subscribers can see Paola and Rocky’s matches in the archives as well as the finals of the Men’s and Women’s Pro Singles and Doubles finals will be aired on the Tennis Channel…days and times to be announced.

Paola Longoria - 2016 US Open Champion #7. Moments from the event.

Paola Longoria – 2016 US Open Champion #7. Moments from the event.

Paola Longoria defended her title from 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and is now the 7th time 2016 United Healthcare US Open Champion. She won the event in fashion against her rival Samantha Salas Solis in 3 games. She played amazingly well throughout the week with her aggressive style of play and her consistency. She did not drop one game on the way to being crowned the 2016 US Open Champion.

Paola also won the 2016 United Healthcare US Open Women’s Pro Doubles title with her regular doubles partner, Samantha Salas Solis.  They are the most dominating doubles teams presently playing, as they won numerous World Doubles Championships and Pan American Doubles Championships.

Paola continues to build her portfolio of being the LPRT’s #1 ranked professional player in the world where winning is a way of life for Paola.

The win in Minneapolis is Paola’s 74th tournament win of her professional career. She now holds a winning streak on the LPRT dating back to March of 2015.

Rocky Carson - 2016 US Open Finalist moments w his Coach Fran Davis.

Rocky Carson – 2016 US Open Finalist moments w his Coach Fran Davis.

Rocky Carson made it to the finals of the 2016 United Healthcare US Open, after beating Markie Rojas, #7 seed, in 4 games in the quarterfinals and Daniel De LaRossa, # 3 seed, in a 5 game battle in the semifinals. Rocky fell to his rival, Kane Waselenchuk, in the finals in 3 games. Rocky fought hard and played well.

Jordan Cooperrider and Mitchell Turner, both played the

Jordan Cooperrider - 2016 US Open Junior Sensation.

Jordan Cooperrider – 2016 US Open Junior Sensation.

US Open and brought home 1 Silver & 2 Bronze Medals in their respective amateur divisions. Also, Jordan made her debut in the LPRT pro division.

Jordan was in the LPRT pro main draw and did not have to qualify this year. Jordan showed why she deserved to be there when she knocked off the #11 seed, Adriana Riveros, in 4 games in the round of 32. And then in the round of 16 Jordan was up against the #6 seed, Samantha Salas Solis, and put up an excellent fight pushing Samantha to 4 games before losing. Jordan is getting better and better with each passing tournament.

Mitchell Turner - 2016 US Open 2x Medalist.

Mitchell Turner – 2016 US Open 2x Medalist.

Jordan also played in the Women’s Open Division and played Lucia Gonzales, the #2 seed in the semi-finals, and lost a close battle in a tie-breaker 11-5 to win a Bronze Medal.

Mitchell, at the age of 16, came back this year and moved up from the Men’s B Divisions to play in the Men’s A & Men’s 24 A Divisions. He played his heart out and took home a Bronze medal in the Men’s A and a Silver medal in the Men’s 24 A.

ALL their hard work paid big dividends as they used the Racquetball Sports Triangle that I advocate in my book, Championship Racquetball. ALL year long they never missed a beat working on their racquetball skills, their mental skills and their conditioning/nutritional skills. They knew all three sides of the triangle needed to work together in order for them to reach their championship level game and they did.

Everyone wants to hold a US Open title from the pro division all the way down to the amateur divisions, which is what makes it so competitive and exciting.

I had so many of my students and our campers attend this event. …CONGRATS to all of them:

Tammarrian Rogers Women’s 45+ Gold
Heather Hojat Women’s A Bronze / Women’s 25A Silver Medals
Julienne Arnold Women’s Semi-Finals Women’s 40+ Silver Medal
Georgette Blomquist Women’s 45+ A Gold Medal
Louise Winter Women’s 50+ Silver Medal
Richelle Kulju/
Steve Kowalski
Mixed Doubles Centurion+ A/B Silver Medal
Dean Baer/Richie Baer Men’s 45+ Doubles Gold Medal
Men’s Heroes Singles Open/A Silver Medal
Matt Montana Men’s 40+ & 45+ 2 Bronze Medal
Paul Jubles Men’s Heroes Singles Open/A Gold Medal
Robert Fisette Men’s 25+ A Gold Medal
Jay Ferrar Men’s A Silver Medal / Men’s -24 A Gold Medal
Yash Maini Men’s 24C/25C Gold Medal
Jeff Stark Men’s 40+ & 45+  2-Gold Medals

I had to wear so many hats such as coach, run the HEAD Penn booth, meet for the USAR-IP Certification Program, commentate on the IRT Network, sell our “Championship Products” …book, video and camps and and and.

It is an event you DO NOT want to miss next year so plan for it and you will not be sorry you attended the BEST EVENT of the year.

****My “Junior Championship Racquetball Team” lead by Wayne Antone, Jordan Cooperrider and Mitchell Turner are representing the USA at the Junior World Championships in San Luis Potosi, MX November 2016.
Good Luck and stay focused. Bring home the hardware.

***It will be streamed live on the International Federation Racquetball website.


A special CONGRATULATIONS to Doug Ganim, one of my dearest friends and mentors, who was inducted into the USAR Hall of Fame for 2016. I cannot begin to tell you what a true champion he was as he climbed the ranks as a junior, adult and culminating as a USA National Team player. Doug’s work ethic and his generosity to give back to the sport that was so good to him is second to none.

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