Central Juniors Claim 4 National Titles

On Wednesday 4th October 12 players from the Central Districts flew to Christchurch for the NZ Junior Age Groups.  This is the biggest Junior event in NZ, and this year we had huge expectations with many of our players seeded to do well, and possibly bring home some titles.  

The players were:

U19 boys - Corbin Faint  (7th seed), Dylan Budge (20th seed)

U17 boys – Jordan Bell (7th seed), George Mikkelsen (20th seed), and Matthew Adshed (21st seed)

U11 boys – Reece Holmes  (1st seed)


U19 girls – Kaitlyn Watts (1st seed), Tia Pauro (14th seed)

U17 girls – Annaleise Faint (4th seed)

U15 girls – Genevieve Bell (13th seed), Abbie Holmes (16th seed)

U11 girls – Anabel Romero-Gemmell (1st seed)


By the end of the individuals, 3 of the team had claimed national titles for their age group.

In the U19 girls we had Kaitlyn who went into the tournament top seed.  She played well in the early rounds beating Lauren Vodanovich, Iyra Stewart and Zoe Dykzuel to make the final.  She met Nadia Hubbard in the final, and started well winning the 1st game 11/2.  All this did was wake Nadia up, and the next 40 minutes or so had everyone enthralled in a titanic battle, with Nadia winning the 2nd game, Kaitlyn the 3rd, and Nadia the 4th.  Both players continued to battle in the 5th, with Nadia gaining 2 match points at 10/8, but Kaitlyn fought back, eventually winning 14/12 in the 5th!!!  What a battle, and what a great advertisement of girl’s squash with both players fighting to the end.  Well done to Kaitlyn in winning the NZ U19 title.

Anabel Romero-Gemmell was seeded 1st in the girls U11 in her first NZ age groups.  Anabel had been playing well all year, and she had trained hard to give herself the best chance to earn herself a NZ title this weekend.  She started well against Montana Vette-Blomquist winning 3/0.  She played 4th seed Kaianne Henare in the semi, again winning 3/0.  She then played 3rd seed Hayley Rhodes in the final, but showed how well she had prepared, and how well she can cope with the pressure winning her final 11/1, 11/3, 11/2.  Well done Annabel, and I’m sure this will be the first of many titles for a very talented young lady.

Reece Holmes from Hawera like Anabel, he cruised though the U11 draw, beating Matthew Growcott in the final 3/0 to also gain his first National Age Group title.  It is fantastic to have both U11 champions from the Central area, and shows we can look forward to more success in the years to come.

The girls Central team then finished off a fantastic week by winning the District Teams title, beating Waikato 3/1 in the final.  This is the first time CD have won this title since 2005, and after coming runner up last year, was a great reward for many of the girls who have been in the team for the last 2/3 years.  During the final Annaleise played Sophie Hodges, and by winning this match she made A grade!!!  Well done Annaleise, a well deserved milestone. 

 So in Summary:

Girls Under 11 Champion – Anabel Romero-Gemmell

Boys under 11 Champion – Reece Holmes

Girls Under 19 Champion – Kaitlyn Watts

Girls District Winners – Central (players – Kaitlyn Watts, Courtney Trail, Annalesie Faint, Genevieve Bell (all SquashGym) and Tia Pauro (Hawera)


Junior girls team 2017.jpg