The 2016 NYAC Race 4 Eight kicked off with a special Thursday qualifier, as players from across the United States, Canada, and Ireland battled for the eight coveted spots in the R48 V NYAC main draw. The R48 NYAC qualifier attracted one of the best qualifiers in R48 history, as former “Elite 8” members, former R48 champions, a SR48 champion, 16 former R48 qualifiers, and a young crop of future stars entered in search of R48 glory. “I my 30 years of pro handball, I’ve never seen a tougher qualifier,” declared Dan “The Hand” Armijo.
In the qualifier finals, Luis Cordova cruised past Ireland’s Gabhain McCrystal, Stephen Cooney survived a close battle with Ohio’s Tyler Stevens, Jonathan Iglesias dominated Anthony Sullivan, Allan Garner was sharp in defeating David Moloney, Marcos Chavez cruised past David Munson, Nik Nahorniak defeated Erik Torres, and Colin Crehan defeated Kevin Kopchuk to qualify for the second time.
In a special “reverse blind draw,” the eight qualifiers were randomly drawn and given the opportunity to chose their opponent in the NYAC’s round of 16. Nik Nahorniak’s name was picked first and the Chicago star surprisingly chose Emmett Peixoto. Iglesias chose Fink, Cooney chose Daniel Cordova, Garner chose Carroll, Crehan chose Moreno, Schneider chose Lenning, Chavez chose Ortiz, and Luis Cordova was left with Paul Brady,
Log onto wphlive.tv, Like the World Players of Handball on Facebook, or follow the WPH on Twitter @dfwph and @wphlive for all of the updates from the 2016 Race 4 Eight NYAC. The live ESPN3 NYAC broadcast (here) starts on Saturday morning, March 12th at 9 am est.
The World Players of Handball is a non-profit foundation aiming to grow the game of handball through innovation and inspiring the next generation of players through junior clinics with certified WPH coaches, junior tournaments and the Race 4 Eight tour.