This past weekend, the United States Naval Academy hosted the College Squash Association Individual National Championships. The ‘Jackets sent four players: freshmen Hameed Ahmed, Will Newnham, Fred Reid and sophomore Jim Bristow. Ahmed, Bristow and Newnham participated in the Potter Cup, which is made up of the top 32 players nationally, while Reid played in the Malloy Cup, which included the next best 32 players.

Bristow started out unseeded in the Potter Cup but soon proved he was worthy of higher consideration. He defeated Thomas McKay of Princeton University in three games, 9-5, 9-3, 9-1, in the first round and Manek Mathur of Trinity University in four games, 9-1, 5-9, 9-1, 9-3, in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, he was matched up against the top-ranked player in the country and eventual champion, Baset Chaudhry, of Trinity and was bested in three well-fought games. Bristow was only one of two players in the quarterfinals – Harvard University’s Colin West being the other – who did not come from Princeton or Trinity.

Newnham, battling illness all weekend, was seeded 17th and drew David Canner from Princeton, but dropped a well-fought five-game match, 9-7, 3-9, 10-9, 6-9, 3-9, in which he was up two games to one.

Ahmed, UR’s No.1 for the majority of the season, was seeded seventh overall and matched up with Randy Lim of Trinity. Ahmed topped Lim fairly convincingly, three games to one. The round of 16 pitted him against David LeTourneau of Princeton where he fell in four games, despite winning the first.

Reid, who only joined the team this semester, was seeded fifth in the Malloy Cup bracket. In the first-round match against Adam King, Reid won handily in three games and followed it up with another three-game sweep of Nils Mattson from host Navy. Facing his toughest match of the day in the quarterfinals – third-seeded Nicholas Hardy from Harvard – he was nearly perfect, putting on a masterful performance and winning, 9-0, 9-2, 9-1. Reid fell in the semifinals to Rushabh Vora of Trinity in three games.

Bristow and Reid turned in the most impressive performances of the weekend for the ‘Jackets. Reid showed that, with more time and matches for the ‘Jackets, he will continue to climb up the rankings, while Bristow proved the importance of experience. By virtue of having three players in the top 32, four in the top 64 and a top-10 finish by the team, UR has shown it is among the elite squash teams in the country.

Ahmed, Newnham and Reid are all freshmen and were participating in their first nationals, while Bristow, the veteran of the group, is only a sophomore. All four are poised to carry the ‘Jackets to even greater heights in the coming years.

Ray is a member of the class of 2008.

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