Wednesday, October 8, 2008

IRT : Canadian Classic first round

The draw for this weekend's Canadian Racquetball Classic tournament on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) is now available on There are 17 players in the qualifying draw, and 13 of them are Canadians and the others are American. Thus, there's not a wide international flavour to the event.

Also, the official draw confirms what The Racquetball Blog reported earlier that Kane Waselenchuk is not playing this weekend. But Jason Mannino is back on tour after missing last week's Kentucky Open due to injury.

We think the matches to watch - prior to the semis and final, which should be good regardless of who's playing - are on the bottom of the draw. The potential quarter finals of Mitch Williams versus Jack Huczek and Mannino versus Shane Vanderson are attractive.

In the qualifying draw, we're a little confused why Greg Thomas is seeded 16th. There are seven players in qualifying who aren't on the latest IRT rankings, so how did they seed them? Randomly? Though Thomas doesn't have IRT points now, he has been an IRT regular in the past, so we're thinking he should be higher than 16th.

Thomas's seeding is also odd because in the Open division he's seeded ahead of some players he's seeded behind in the Pro Qualifying Draw. But we can see how a random draw among the seven players who don't have a current IRT ranking is arguably be the best process to seed unranked players.

Here's how they'll match up for the weekend:

Qualifying Draw
First Round (seeding)

(16) Greg Thomas vs. (17) Jamie Slamko

Second Round

Q1: (1) Chris Crowther vs. winner of Greg Thomas vs. Jamie Slamko
Q8: (8) James Landeryou vs. (9) Vincent Gagnon

Q5: (5) Lee Connell vs. (12) Michael Vogan
Q4: (4) Travis Woodbury vs. (13) Nathaniel Husulak

Q3: (3) Kris Odegard vs. (14) Ben Ryder
Q6: (6) Tim Landeryou vs. (11) Darryl Thomas

Q7: (7) Michael Burgess vs. (10) Sebastien Boissonneault
Q2: (2) Andy Hawthorne vs. (15) Troy Brooks

Main Draw

(1) Rocky Carson vs. Q8
(8) Ben Croft vs. Q1

(5) Jason Thoerner vs. Q4
(4) Alvaro Beltran vs. Q5

(3) Jason Mannino vs. Q6
(6) Shane Vanderson vs. Q3

(7) Mitch Williams vs. Q2
(2) Jack Huczek vs. Q7


This week we're going with the defending champ. Yes, The Racquetball Blog is touting Jack Huczek to win his fourth Canadian Classic in a row. Canada's been a very good place for him to play, and we think it will continue to be so this weekend.

Also, it's the fourth consecutive weekend of IRT competition. That many tournaments in a row can take a toll on the players. As Huczek is one of the fitter players on tour, his fitness should be even more of an advantage than usual this weekend.

Our IRT predo record is 1/3 (we went with Huczek once before, with Rocky Carson once, & once with Waselenchuk, who's won thrice). The TRB Readers have not missed so far, although there was a tie vote for the first IRT event. Most people have gone for Waselenchuk, but that was prior to the knowledge of him not being in the draw. So, perhaps this time we'll accept the player getting the second most votes as the TRB readers' choice.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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