Todd Harrity Sweeps Weekend To Win Squash National Championship
Championship runs aren't supposed to be this dominant. Princeton sophomore Todd Harrity completed a clean sweep at the CSA national individual championships, defeating Cornell's Nick Sachvie 3-0 to win the 2011 national title.
Harrity, whose last collegiate loss came in the 2010 national final to then-senior Colin West of Harvard, becomes the 11th Princeton man to win a national title and the first since Yasser El-Halaby '06 completed his career sweep in 2006. He did it in style, sweeping the whole tournament and never once facing a game ball.
He also becomes the first American ever to win a collegiate softball championship; the last American to win nationals was Harvard's Jon Bernheimer in 1990, when hardball was still being played on the collegiate level.
"I was definitely nervous coming in as the favorite," said the top-seeded Harrity, who completed a 20-0 season with an 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 win over the third-seeded Sachvie. "I did a good job of staying calm and focusing. It was a tough, intense match. He is a very good player, and I'm really happy with the way I played."
He was well aware of how tough Sachvie could be, since he beat him 3-1 during a team match Nov. 21. That 11-6 loss in the first game was the last time he dropped an individual game during his sophomore season; in fact, of his next 57 straight single-game wins, only seven saw his opponent reach nine points.
"Todd just doesn't give you anything to work with," head coach Bob Callahan said afterwards. "Nick is as athletic and mobile as Todd, so the pace was just amazing today. Todd drove cleanly and got the ball so deep today. He played beautifully today and the whole weekend."
The win also extends a Princeton University streak as well; the Tiger athletic department has won at least one individual or national title in each of the last 40 years.
It was a successful day throughout Princeton squash. Junior Kelly Shannon completed one of the most impressive runs in the tournament by taking the second-round consolation draw with an 11-1, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5 victory over Harvard No. 1 Gary Power. That win was Shannon's fourth victory of the weekend against players ranked in the top seven, and his only loss came 11-7 in the fifth to Trinity senior Andres Vargas.
Junior Clay Blackiston won the second-round consolation draw in the Molloy Cup (for players ranked 33-64) with an 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 win over Cornell's Rishi Jalan.
The Holleran Cup, for women's players ranked 33-64, had a distinctively Princeton feel to it at the end. Junior Katie Giovinazzo, seeded third, took on freshman teammate Alex Sawin, seeded fifth, in the finale. After splitting the first two games, Giovinazzo closed with wins of 11-9 and 11-4 to become Princeton's second Holleran Cup winner in program history.
In the women's main draw, No. 2 player Jackie Moss lost her second-round consolation finale in five tough games to Trinity No. 2 Pamela Hathway. Moss rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1, but Hathway took the final game 11-5 to clinch the match.
Moss was eliminated from the championship draw by Yale's seventh-seeded Millie Tomlinson, who went on to sweep through the field and upset defending champion Laura Gemmell of Harvard 3-0 in Sunday's other main final.