Ava Naworski and Heather Mahoney of the Callinan Sports Center in Rohnert Park Junior Racquetball program, participated in the Junior Nationals in Portland, OR June 19-24. Players from across the country in different age groups were in attendance.
Heather has been attending the national championship event since 2012 and Ava has since 2015. Both have been National and World Champions. Heather has been the World champion in 10 and under singles, 12 and under singles and last year 14 and under Doubles. Last year she was also the Silver medalist in the 14 and under singles. In 2017, Ava and her doubles partner, Sonya Shetty, were the World 10 and under doubles champions.
At this event, between the two they earned three Golds, two Silvers and a Bronze. Both qualify for Team USA and plan to represent USA at the Junior World Championships in Costa Rica this Nov…
To qualify for Team USA, you need to be the top two singles finishers or the top doubles team.
This was Heather’s second year as the 14 and under champion. In the 16 and under final, it went to a tie breaker in one of the most exciting matches of the week. Her and her opponent, Annie Roberts, went back and forth. Tie breakers are to 11 and this came to 9-9 when Annie made some great shots to win it 11-9. Most racquetball people will tell you that Heather is not even supposed to be competitive in this division until 2021 when it will be her official second year in 16 and under.
Ava was very close to being in the finals of the 12 and under singles. In her semi-finals, it also went to a tie breaker. This time even tighter than Heather’s match. It got to be 10-10. Ava served and had a chance to win it with one good shot. Unfortunately, that shot did not go right and her opponent went on to win 11-10. There is a good chance that she may be able to move up to second position for the World Championships.
Both players are coached by Brian Dixon, first at Petaluma Valley Athletic Club and now at the Callinan Sports Center in Rohnert Park. He has worked with Heather since she was six years old and Ava since she was eight years old. He attended the event, helping with game plans etc. He is also the California Nevada Racquetball Association Junior Director.
Heather was awarded the World Cup female player of the year at the Saturday banquet.
Here is how they did in their divisions:
Bronze – 12 and under singles
Gold – 12 and under doubles – Team USA Qualified
Gold – 12 and under mixed doubles – Mixed is not a World division
Silver – 16 and under singles – Team USA Qualified
Gold – 14 and under singles – Team USA qualified
Silver – 16 and under doubles
Mores details and pics at - https://teamah-ha-2019.blogspot.com/
The next Junior class at the Callinan will start early Sept.…During the summer there is a Junior challenge court every Sat. 12-2.