>

By Samm Diep, PoolTipJar.com
The 2009 Shooting Star Classic 8-Ball Tournament crowned its first four out of five champions. Scotch Doubles matches were completed intermittently throughout the day between singles matches. In the end, the two teams of four Masters remained. Minnesota’s dynamic duo Runningen with Tony Hilla versus Iowa’s finest Jerrod Frideres with Dustin Gunia chopped the total $1,380 prize and hit the road.

Beau Runningen and Tony Hilla with Jerrod Frideres and Dustin Gunia

Beau Runningen and Tony Hilla with Jerrod Frideres and Dustin Gunia

Scotch Doubles
1st Runningen/Hilla Minneapolis, MN $690
2nd Frideres/Gunia Fort Dodge, IA $690
3rd Steinhaus/Sherman Clearwater, MN $380
4th Calleja/Moua Deer Park, WI $230

First to wrap up was the Women’s Masters division. Though the field was small, it included players from seven states and two countries. Of the six women to return on Sunday, Chicago prevailed, taking the gold and bronze. Kristen Castaldo of Oak Brook, Illinois captured third place while her road partner Jacqui Herrera-Schroeder met North Dakota’s 8-ball novice Jeri Bouvette for a rematch in the finals. The single-set finals saw a repeat 5-3 score in Herrera-Schroeder’s favor.

Jacqui Herrera-Schroeder

Jacqui Herrera-Schroeder

Women’s Masters division
1st Jacqui Herrera-Schroeder Streamwood, IL $900
2nd Jeri Bouvette East Grand Forks, ND $600
3rd Kristen Castaldo Oak Brook, IL $400
4th Kelly Haffner St. Joe, MN $200

The Men’s Masters division was nearly full with 44 players, including the likes of former touring pro Jimmy Wetch, and top MN players Beau Runningen and Gene Albrecht. After cruising through the A-side and defeating Felix Beardy for the driver’s seat, Demetrius Jelatis would face him again in the finals. Beardy was out for vengeance this time, taking the first set 5-2. After a quick break, a refreshed Jelatis would return to flip the score in his favor.

Demetrius Jelatis

Demetrius Jelatis

Men’s Masters division
1st Demetrius Jelatis Brooklyn Park, MN $1,400
2nd Felix Beardy Winnipeg, MB $1,000
3rd Jerrod Spence Winnipeg, MB $700
4th Marc Oelslager Fargo, ND $380

The Women’s Open also concluded with a double-set finals resulting in favor of the hot-seat winner. Natalie Plumley cruised through the open ladies field to meet up with Joan Jacobs in the finals. Jacobs dished out a 4-0 victory in the first set but slightly overstroked a key ball at hill-hill, coming just shy of the prize.

Natalie Plumley

Natalie Plumley

Women’s Open
1st Natalie Plumley Owatonna, MN $900
2nd Joan Jacobs Devils Lake, ND $600
3rd Sam Matuska Fargo, ND $380
4th Veronica Lyons Schofield, WI $180

All four champions from the singles divisions receive custom Delta-13 Elite racks engraved with the event name, date, and “CHAMPION” along with their prize money.

Six remain in the Men’s Open division, returning Monday morning at nine. With support from their sponsors, tournament directors, Samm Diep and Mike Fieldhammer were able to provide coin-free play on pro-cut 7’ Diamond Smart Tables for the entire weekend for only a $10 greens fee.

Event Sponsors: Shooting Star Classic, Tiger Products, Delta-13 Rack, Peters Billiards, PoolDawg.com, Predator Group, and Simonis Cloth.

Visit www.ShootingStarClassic.com for tournament updates, online brackets (provided by Bad Boy Productions), and live streaming.