March 22, 2005
Yale squash player Julian Illingworth '06 became the second amateur to win the U.S. National Singles Championship by defeating Michael Puertas in four games in the title match on March 20 at Cambridge, Mass.
Illingworth, a Portland, Ore., native, who finished second in the Collegiate Squash Association singles championships, took home the large trophy this time by taking his first national title since coming to New Haven. Yale's top player was the fourth seed at last weekend's U.S. championships and knocked off No. 2 Puertas by the scores of 11-9, 8-11, 11-7 and 11-6.
"I came in as the fourth seed but I was pretty confident, and I knew I could beat anyone there," said Illingworth, who just completed his junior campaign with the Bulldogs. "It was just a question of putting back-to-back matches together. I have been knocking on the door at this tournament."
Illingworth fell in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Championships the last two years in a pair of close matches but felt he was in better shape and better prepared this time.
"In the final match, I outworked him," said Illingworth, who became the first Yale player since Will Carlin '85 in 1989 to win a U.S. Championship. "He was running me around a lot but I was really up for the match and had lot of adrenaline. I was able to run down those balls."
For details on the match and the brackets, go to www.squashtalk.com.
report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director