2015 Junior National Champions

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Robinson, Larson, Childress & Fullerton Crowned 2015 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Champions

Photos Courtesy of JP Parmentier & Billiard Education Foundation

August 10, 2015 (Denver, CO): The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) presented its 27th Annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships August 4-7, 2015. 130 billiard student-athletes represented 31 states at the South Point Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada for this year’s event which took place in conjunction with the 2015 BCA Billiard & Home Leisure Expo.

Of the 54 competitors, this year’s title of 18 & Under Boys Champion went to California Jr. State 9-Ball Champion Chris Robinson of Ventura, CA. The arena exploded as he pocketed the winning 9 ball in the finals against Atlantic Challenge Cup U.S. team member Josh Franklin from Creve Coeur, IL. Robinson came from the one-loss side after losing his third match against former World Junior U.S. team member, Manny Perez from Kansas. Newcomers Nick Kline from Prescott Valley, AZ and Zach Gurganus of Marietta, GA both made a huge splash and all four boys will be representing the U.S. at the upcoming WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships.

In the 18 & Under Girls division, 15-year-old April Larson went undefeated to continue her reign as girls champion. Minnesota’s star won 9-6 in a single-set finals against 15-year-old Emily Herpel from Freehold, NY. Third and fourth place went to junior nationals first-timers Amber Jackson of South Carolina and Hannah Hohn of South Dakota. All four ladies will be invited to represent the U.S. at the upcoming world championships.

From the field of 46 14 & Under Boys, 12-year-old Nathan Childress of North Chesterfield, VA returned with his sights set high after last year’s third place finish. With proud mom and coach present, the VA junior state champion played a near perfect set against IL & PA junior state champion, 13-year-old Kaiden Hunkins of Waukesha, WI. Both boys will also be invited to be a part of team U.S. at the upcoming world championships. Connecticut’s Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Daniel Sardoncillo of Washington both had notable third and fourth place finishes.

The 14 & Under Girls division went to 12-year-old Ashley Fullerton of Lake Park, MN but not without a fight. 12-year-old Tatum Cutting from Diamond, OH was down 8-1 in the finals ultimately losing the set 9-6 but she never gave up. Massachusetts’ players Vivian Liu (first-timer) and Keila Perez finished third and fourth respectively. Fullerton will be representing the U.S. at the upcoming world junior championships.

Interestingly, all the finals finished with a score of 9-6.

18 & Under Boys Division

1st Place * Chris Robinson, 17 (Ventura, CA) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$1,000 Academic Scholarship

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place * Josh Franklin, 17 (Creve Coeur, IL) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place * Nick Kline, 17 (Prescott Valley, AZ) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place * Zach Gurganus, 17 (Marietta, GA) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

 

18 & Under Girls Division

1st Place * April Larson, 15 (Bloomington, MN) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$1,000 Academic Scholarship

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place * Emily Herpel, 15 (Freehold, NY) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place * Amber Jackson, 15 (Clover, SC) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place * Hannah Hohn, 16 (Ethan, SD) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

 

14 & Under Boys Division

1st Place * Nathan Childress, 12 (North Chesterfield, VA) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$500 Academic Scholarship

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place * Kaiden Hunkins, 13 (Waukesha, WI) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place Lukas Fracasso-Verner, 13 (Wallingford, CT) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place Daniel Sardoncillo, 14 (Puyallup, WA) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

 

14 & Under Girls Division

1st Place * Ashley Fullerton, 12 (Lake Park, MN) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$500 Academic Scholarship

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place Tatum Cutting, 12 (Diamond, OH) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place Vivian Liu, 12 (Harvard, MA) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place Keila Perez, 14 (Waltham, MA) Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

* Earned entry into 2015 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships

Newly implemented this year was the Sportsmanship Award presented by Lindenwood University. Players, spectators and staff all voted for players they believed showed remarkable sportsmanship during their matches. This year’s recipients were:

18 & Under Boys Division Nick Kline, 17 (Prescott Valley, AZ)
18 & Under Girls Division Serena Black, 17 (Warrensburg, IL)
14 & Under Boys Division Nathan Childress, 12 (North Chesterfield, VA)
14 & Under Girls Division April Czarnecki, 14 (Urbandale, IA)
2015 Sportsmanship Award presented by Lindenwood University

2015 Sportsmanship Award presented by Lindenwood University

The winners from each of the four age divisions (18 & Under Boys, 18 & Under Girls, 14 & Under Boys and 14 & Under Girls) received academic scholarships, custom engraved trophies and sponsored prize packages valued at nearly $2,000. Along with their victories, they also earned an opportunity to represent Team U.S.A. at the upcoming 2015  WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships in Shanghai, China in November. The top four finishers also received trophies and prize packages.

Polo shirt sponsors: CueStix International & Presidential Billiards

Good bag sponsors: Kamui, Billiards Digest, Pool & Billiard, Professor Q-Ball, Tweeten Fibre, Aramith, OB Cues, Pechauer Custom Cues, PoolDawg.com, Simonis, CSI, Specialty Incentives, Downtown LV Visitors Center and LV Visitor’s Authority

Winners’ Prize Sponsors include: Predator Group, Worldwise Imports, Dr. Dave, Bullseye Billiards, Ricky Bryant & Omega Billiards, Pool Hall Plushies and Championship

Premier Sponsors of the 2015 Junior National 9-Ball Championships: Iwan Simonis, Inc, Billiard Congress of America, Diamond Billiard Products and Aramith

Official Media Sponsors: AzBilliards.com, Billiards Digest, InsidePool, Pool&Billiard, Professor Q-Ball and, NYCGrind.com

Links to online brackets can be found at http://billiardeducation.org/2015-jnc-updates/ courtesy of Bad Boys Billiard Productions. Live stream (courtesy of Rail2Rail.tv) and live scoring (courtesy of ScoreSaloon.com) were also available at that link.

40 billiard student-athletes with GPAs of 3.5 or higher were recognized at the event’s banquet as this year’s BEF Academic All-Americans. Banquet guests were also treated with special guest speakers “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman and Hall-of-Famer Allison Fisher.

Also new this year was the new Kamui Quest for Excellence award given to eight recipients this year with a 4.0 GPA. These outstanding student athletes were each presented with a custom Kamui award along with a sponsorship package from Kamui. This year’s recipients were: Serena Black, Joey Bourgeois, Jr., Michelle Jiang, April Larson, Vivian Liu, Andy Poutry, Katlin Schilling and Evan Swett.

2015 Junior Nationals participants

2015 Junior Nationals participants

Great appreciation go to the event staff and volunteers who have made this a first class event year after year: longtime tournament director Earl Munson, tournament & event assistant Tammy Jo Leonard and her husband Mel, longtime National Head Referee Rick Doner and National Referee John Taylor, Gina Sinlao, Irene Bautista, “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman, Allison Fisher, Marc Vidal, and Jerry Tarantola for creating the special banquet video. Special Thanks also goes to Jason Secor and Ross Smith. And and extra SPECIAL THANKS goes to Tim Chin for all his amazing support before and during the entire event.

Any young players interested in participating in next year’s BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships or State Championships should visit the BEF website at BilliardEducation.org or call the office at (303) 926-1039.

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