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2001 Virginia Junior Championships

The five new international courts at Episcopal High School were inaugurated over the weekend of Jan. 19-21, 2001 with the Virginia Junior Championships. A total of 110 players participated in seven draws.

The most hotly contested final was in the Boys Under 17 (BU17) draw, where Baltimore’s Jacob Himmelrich and McLean’s Bob Montgomery steamrolled through the first four rounds without either of them dropping a game.

Listed at #27 and #29 in the national initial season rankings, they battled through five tough games before an overflow crowd that included a sizable contingent from Baltimore who had come to support Himmelrich. He eventually got the win, 9-10, 9-3, 9-4, 9-10, 9-3. Ryan Maher of St. Louis took third place over Patrick Kruse, and the consolation draw went to Arlington’s Nicholas Adams, the winner over Patrick Harris of Washington.

The only other final to go more than three games was in the Boys Under 13 draw, where twin brothers Peter and Philip Sopher of Washington went four games. Peter, who is ranked #24, took the first two, 9-3 and 9-4, but Philip, ranked #54, pushed him to extra points in the third and won it 10-8. Peter then closed out with a 9-4 win in the fourth. Third and fourth places in the BU13 draw went to two Washingtonians, Nick Echeverria beating Alex Gross, 9-5, 9-5, 7-9, 10-8. McLean’s John Devor won the consolation draw.

Two sisters from Buffalo, New York, went to the finals in the Girls Under 17 draw. Julia Drury, 16, who was listed at #28 when the USSRA released their initial national rankings earlier this month, prevailed over her 15-year-old sister, Lauralynn, who was ranked #40. The two of them had given up a total of only 12 points in winning all 15 of their games leading up to the finals. The championship went to Julia, 9-3, 9-6, 9-5.

Of the 12 points given up by Julia and Lauralynn in the early rounds, eight were scored by 14-year-old Christine Montgomery of McLean. She lost to Julia Drury in the semi-finals, 9-5, 9-0, 9-3, and went on to take third place, 9-3, 9-4, 9-4, over Libby Martin of St. Louis. Christine also won her own age group – the Girls Under 15 draw – in a 4-player round robin. Second place for GU15 went to Andrea Wood, 13, of Washington.

In the semi-finals, Johnson beat McLean’s Alex Hufford. The 3rd-place match went to Tashjian over Hufford, 9-3, 9-5, 9-0. Jake Gross of Washington finished 5th, winning the consolation final, 10-8, 9-0, 9-7.

The final for the Boys Under 19 draw saw the top two players on St.Albans team face off. Gifford Sommerkamp of Bethesda beat McLean’s Scott Hackman, 9-3, 9-4, 9-6. Both had reached the finals without losing a game. The same was true in the Girls Under 19 draw, where Elizabeth Thompson of Villanova, Penn., took the title over Camilla Lancaster, 10-9, 9-3, 9-0.

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