Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy 27th Birthday Kristen Bellows!

You gave yourself a wonderful early birthday present by winning your first pro tournament last month in Stockton, California at the Ektelon Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) World Championships stealing the spotlight that was supposed to be on Paola Longoria and Rhonda Rajsich, who were battling for the season end #1 ranking.

It's surprising that was your first pro tournament title, but maybe more surprising is that it was only your fifth career final. Especially as you were in two finals in 2001-02 - in what we believe was your first year on tour. You finished #6 at the end of that season, and haven't been outside the top 8 since.

Although Stockton was your first pro win, you're no stranger to the winner's circle. You won 8 World Junior titles: singles titles in 2001 & 2000 (18 & under), 1999 (16 & under) and 1996 (14 & under), and doubles titles with Krystal Csuk in 2000 and 1998 and with Jeni Fuller in 1996 and 1995.

You won the Intercollegiate title three times in 2001, 2003 and 2004, and you were part of the University of Utah team that won the 2004 Intercollegiate women's team title. In addition, you took the Intercollegiate doubles crown with Marianne Walse in 2004 and Elle Summers in 2001.

You've also been Pan American Champion in 2004, winning singles along with a silver in doubles with partner Cheryl Gudinas Holmes, who you beat in the singles final. That year was the second of four consecutive appearances you made for Team USA at the Pan American Championships. You earned a bronze in doubles in 2003 with Kersten Hallander, and a silver in singles in 2006.

Our hope is that your breakthrough pro victory will just be the start of many more great results from you, as that will make the WPRO tour all the more interesting.

All of a sudden the 2009-10 season seems just too far away.

Follow the bouncing ball...

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