The 2019 Pan American Games kicked off in Lima, Peru last week with the squash events starting on Thursday, July 25. 60 athletes representing 13 countries began the competition in seven different events.
A closer look at the entrants list, however, reveals that a formidable group of former and current College Squash Association (CSA) competitors will be making their mark during the quadrennial games. Almost a quarter of the squash athletes – 14 total – plied their trade in CSA competitions, including five of the six members of Team USA.
Pan American Games competitors Amanda (left) and Sabrina Sobhy (right) during their Harvard playing days (photos: Michael T. Bello)
Leading the way already is the highest ranked female in competition: American and Harvard alumna Amanda Sobhy. She captured individual gold over Team USA teammate Olivia Blatchford Clyne, before teaming with sister and more recent Harvard graduate, Sabrina.
Matching Amanda’s position on the top of the medal stand were two men’s CSA alums who teamed up for gold in the men’s doubles competition. Former Ivy League competitors and 2013 Skillman Award co-winners Todd Harrity (Princeton) and Chris Hanson (Dartmouth) recovered from a Game 1 loss in the final to win the doubles gold medal.
Team USA’s Todd Harrity (left, Princeton) and Chris Hanson (center, Dartmouth) faced off numerous times in college, while Andrew Douglas (right, Penn) has two more seasons of CSA competition (photos: Michael T. Bello)
The final member of Team USA’s squash contingent is University of Pennsylvania’s talented rising junior Andrew Douglas. The 2019 CSA Individual Championships semifinalist teamed up with Blatchford Clyne in the new mixed doubles competition, adding a bronze medal to the growing American medal haul.
With both the men’s and the women’s team competitions now underway, the three-person American teams will aim for some additional hardware. Team qualifying occurred on Sunday and Monday with the final draws playing out today and Wednesday.
Standing in their way, however, could be some former competitors from their college days. Nine additional competitors from six other countries formerly played college squash. Listed alphabetically with their home countries and colleges shown, they are: Chris Binnie (Jamaica; Trinity College), Noah Browne (Bermuda; Amherst College), Bruce Burrowes (Jamaica; University of Western Ontario), Mary Fung-A-Fat (Guyana; Drexel University), Danielle Letourneau (Canada; Cornell University), Catalina Pelaez (Colombia; Trinity College), Rodrigo Porras (El Salvador; University of Rochester), Nick Sachvie (Canada; Cornell University), Juan Camilo Vargas (Colombia; Trinity College).
The College Squash Association wishes all of the athletes good luck as the competition comes to a close this week!