The 2017 Portland Classic/R48 Pre Qualifier
Portland, OR, WPH Press, 10/30/17- The Multnomah Athletic Club proudly hosted the first Portland Classic/R48 Pre Qualifier, featuring more than 90 players at one of the country’s best venues.
Men’s Open Singles/R48 Pre Qualifier
R48 #23 Dalton Beall entered the Portland Classic Men’s Open singles as the top seed, while former R48 Elite 8 invitee and R48 semifinalist Aaron Garner returned to tournament handball after a substantial hiatus. Beall and Garner were joined by Pacific Northwest superstars Sean Steele, Matt Steele, Stephen Stenberg, and tournament director Conor Casey, with all of the players battling for a R48 travel stipend to the R48 7 event of their choice during the 2017-2018 R48 7 season.
Beall advanced to the final with dominant wins against WPH Ace of the Month Nick Flores, Conor Casey, and Sean Steele, while the “comebacking” Garner cruised to the final with wins against Michael Michael Stenberg, Tom Polzin, and Stephen Stenberg.
Beall relied on his two-handed offensive attack and his recent tournament experience to overcome Garner in the two-game final. “Aaron played Dalton really tough in both games and was close to forcing a tiebreaker,” stated tournament director Conor Casey.”
“I play ok at times, just made a lot of hand errors and gave Dalton too many setups,” lamented Garner. “I don’t think either of us played our best but it was nice to be back on the court.”
“It’s great having Aaron back on the court,” stated Portland Classic champion Dalton Beall. “I’m hoping he keeps going to tournaments because he is a great player who pushes me to be better.”
“We had crazy numbers and next year we will probably double it,” stated Portland Classic tournament director Conor Casey. “The pre-qualifier was a big success and truly proved that handball can continue to grow. We even had 13 teams in the mixed doubles! The MAC has always been a huge hotbed for handball and now we have an annual event that Hank and I will keep going.”
“Just wanted to congratulate and thank you for a great Portland Classic!” stated Multnomah Athletic Club racquetball director and World Outdoor Racquetball director Hank Marcus. “The tournament was awesome and all the comments by MAC members and guests made it clear how well it went and that it will only be bigger next year. I already have the new date in the system and courts blocked for 2018.”
“Conor did a tremendous job with the tournament and his effort and attention to detail really shined through,” stated WPH Ace of the Month Nick Flores. “All of the players I talked to were thoroughly enjoying the tournament and already looking forward to coming back next year – the mark of a successful handball tournament! This event served not only to showcase the best players in the northwest, but also to introduce our sport to a diverse group of new blood. Having 18 college players, 9 junior players, and 17 women in attendance was a very impressive demographic, and in my view this was the highlight of the event.”
To follow all of the brackets and results from the Portland Classic/R48 Pre Qualifier, go here
Full Race 4 Eight 7 Preview here
WPH Power Rankings: here
DF’s R48 Fun Facts and Trends: here
Race 4 Eight History of Champions and Finalists: here
WPH Senior Writer