Friday, September 26, 2008

Kansas City is International this week

The Kansas City Open on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) is at the Round of 16 stage today, with the quarter finals to follow tonight.

IRT #1 Rocky Carson and Kane Waselenchuk, last week's tournament winner and former IRT #1, are indeed facing off in the Round of 16, as Waselenchuk defeated Anthony Herrera to qualify in the 8th qualifying spot.

There are two other Canadians in the 16s, but Vincent Gagnon, who The Racquetball Blog talked up yesterday, isn't one of them. In fact, Gagnon failed to get past his first match, as he lost to Brad Rogers. Rogers in turn lost to Andy Hawthorne, who will face Ben Croft today.

Lee Connell and Kris Odegard are the Canucks who are in the 16s. Connell is up against second seed Jack Huczek, while Odegard takes on Jason Mannino, the third seed.

Alejandro Herrera won his re-match with Keith Minor in the final qualifying round, so he's up against Alvaro Beltran today. Also, Hiroshi Shimizu will play Shane Vanderson, Juan Herrera is up against Mitch Williams, and finally there will be another in the series of Jason Thoerner-Chris Crowther battles.

In all there are seven non-Americans and nine Americans in the Round of 16, so although the IRT is in the heartland of America this week, it has one of the largest representations of foreign, or international, players ever in its main draw.

This week the IRT is truly international.

Kansas City Open - Main Draw (IRT Rank)

(1) Rocky Carson vs. Kane Waselenchuk
(8) Chris Crowther vs. Jason Thoerner

(5) Shane Vanderson vs. Hiroshi Shimizu
(4) Alvaro Beltran vs. Alejandro Herrera

(3) Jason Mannino vs. Kris Odegard
(6) Mitch Williams vs. Juan Herrera

(7) Ben Croft vs. Andy Hawthorne
(2) Jack Huczek vs. Lee Connell

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