The Men's Open/US Team division at the 2012 Ektelon Nationals in Fullerton, California had a curious outcome, as the final was a showdown of the #8 and #22 seeds. Marcos Rojas, seeded 22nd and younger brother of Jose Rojas, defeated 8th seed John Goth, 15-11, 13-15, 11-2. Rojas was out most of last year with a knee injury, but has clearly recovered from that and is playing strong.
Testament to Rojas's strong play is that he beat Charlie Pratt in the semi-finals, 15-10, 15-12. In the other semi-final, Goth defeated Tyler Otto, 15-5, 15-5.
2nd Semi Ever with Many Parallels
Props to Polo Gutierrez, who made his second career semi-final at an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event, last week at the Ektelon Nationals in Fullerton, California. His only previous semi-final was back at the 2007 Motorola World Championship in Colorado Springs that began the 2007-08 season. And there are many parallels for Gutierrez in these two events.
As with this past weekend, Gutierrez had to go through qualifying, defeating Charlie Pratt and Ruben Gonzalez to get to the 16s. And in the 16s he faced Jason Mannino, and again as with Fullerton, Gutierrez was down two games to zero in that match, but came back to win it in five games.
In that quarter final, Gutierrez faced Chris Crowther, who was his opponent again last week in Fullerton.
Also, in Colorado Springs Gutierrez lost in the semi-finals to the eventual winner - Rocky Carson, and he did so in Fullerton as well, as he fell to Kane Waselenchuk, who went on to win the tournament.
Finally, in both of these events the other finalist was Alvaro Beltran.
Men's Open/US Team Division - Ektelon Nationals - Fullerton, California
Marcos Rojas d. John Goth, 15-11, 13-15, 11-2
Marcos Rojas d. Charlie Pratt, 15-10, 15-12
John Goth d. Tyler Otto, 15-5, 15-5
Follow the bouncing ball….