70th annual billiards championship winners crowned
July 17, 2010
ANN ARBOR, MICH. — The ACUI Collegiate 9-Ball Championships took place July 16–17 at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Fifty-one students representing 37 colleges, universities, and two-year institutions qualified at either the 14 regional competitions or at one of two ACUI-sanctioned independent qualifying events for this prestigious championship. Purdue University’s Lindsey Dorn was the women’s champion, while Raymond Linares of Miami Dade College–Kendall took home the men’s title.
Dorn ran undefeated and virtually unchallenged in the Race-to-7 True Double Elimination event. None of her opponents won more than three games. She took home the trophy and a $1,000 ACUI scholarship with decisive victories over Bonnie Ignacki (Virginia Tech), Samantha Adler (University of Delaware), Michelle Yim (University of Houston), Delia Mocanu (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology), Cynthia Higa (University of Hawaii–Manoa), and needed only a single set in the finals over Mocanu to gain the crown.
Linares lost his first match in the Race-to-8 contest before winning nine consecutive matches to grab the men’s title. Linares fell to Mitchell Trainham (Virginia Commonwealth University) in an 8-7 nail-biter, then bested Hamilton Yim (University of Maryland–Baltimore County), Wes Puse (Ohio University), Kevin Duong (San Francisco State University), John Martinovich (Moraine Valley Community College), Jonathan Strzezewski (Wilbur Wright College), Trainham, and Adam Ausperk (Kent State University) to face four-year veteran Tommy Najar (New Mexico State University) in the finals. While Linares duked it out on the one-loss side, Najar played strong and steady in the shorter path to the finals, with victories over Dale Murphy (West Virginia University), Puse, David Stanley (University of Maryland–Baltimore County), Strzezewski, and Ausperk. In the finals, Linares defeated Najar in two sets, each by a score of 8-6, to take home the trophy and a $1,000 ACUI scholarship.
Sportsmanship is honored at the ACUI event by peer vote. Michelle Yim and Duong took home these trophies. ACUI also holds a Best Break Competition during the event; the winners were Ignacki and Charles Crouch (University of Houston). This is Crouch’s second ACUI Best Break title in three years.
Mike Makoski, ACUI’s volunteer Recreation and Leisure Activities Program Team leader from Fitchburg State University, called this tournament “the premiere intercollegiate cue sport tournament in the world. Past ACUI champions include Nick Varner and Max Eberle, who are now top players on the professional circuit.”
Betsy Sundholm, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and hostess to this year’s competition, recognized tournament sponsor Simonis for providing cloth for the billiards tables.
“Supporting ACUI student programs is vitally important to us, and we are proud to host this event,” she said. “The fact that it meant a facelift for our tables with the best cloth in the world makes it that much more meaningful. Students will continue to benefit from this sponsorship as Michigan hosts the seventh annual University of Michigan Team Pool Championships in November, followed by the Region 7 Recreation Tournaments in February 2011, and finally the annual Last Chance ACUI Qualifier in early April.”
ACUI hosted the first intercollegiate billiards championship in 1937; since then there have been only four years in which no tournament was held, due to wartime conflicts. The host venue serves as the hub for the multiday tournament, the awards banquet, and player dining. The host city accommodates players and their families for meals and hotel rooms. For more information about how to compete in or host this event in future, contact ACUI Director of Meetings Michelle Smith at email@example.com or visit the ACUI website, http://www.acui.org/billiards.