Hometown Squash Players Rally at Nationals

Rye area youth made an impressive showing at last weekend’s U.S. Squash Junior Championships at Yale University. Eight junior players from Apawamis Club and four from Westchester Country Club competed in the three-day tournament showcasing the nation’s top young players.

Pictured at Nationals, left to right, back row: Caroline Baldwin, Ashley Manning, and Claire Aube; middle row: Kayley Leonard flanked by Apawamis coaches Yvain “Swiss” Badan, and Manek Mathur; front row: Haley Aube, Charlie Mattson, and Natalie Bartlett.

Among the 314 players who came to the Yale campus from all over the country were Rye’s own Claire and Haley Aube, Caroline Baldwin, Christopher Eagan, Ashley Manning, and Charlie Mattson. Hailing from Harrison were Natalie Bartlett, Bella and Emily Jones, Kayley Leonard, and Tucker and Kyle Martino.

The atmosphere was intense at the Yale gym. First timer Caroline Baldwin, 10, tried to keep it all in perspective saying, “I loved the experience of playing in this tournament and being around such talent.”

Several members of the Rye-area squad landed top ten honors. In the Girls Under 11 division, Haley Aube, 10, finished in 6th place, her twin sister Claire Aube in 9th, and teammate Ashley Manning, also 10, in 10th place.

Claire Aube and Ashley Manning, good friends who both play at Apawamis, faced one other in the Consolation finals. Manning said afterward that she tried not to let emotion get the best of her, “It’s different playing a friend,” she noted. “You know them so well that you almost need to be more focused. The good news is we always have fun and want to get back on the court no matter the outcome.”

In the Girls Under 15 division, Harrison’s Kayley Leonard, 14, finished in 5th place overall. Emily Jones, 16, also of Harrison, tied for 7th place in the Girls Under 17 division.

— Sonja Bartlett

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