2011 BEF Junior National Billiards Champions Crowned
Olson, Miller, Thorpe and Reynolds reign

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) crowned four winners in the 2011 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships. Over 100 junior pocket billiard players gathered in the Huskies Den at Northern Illinois University on July 6-10 to compete for the title in 4 divisions. In the 18-and-under boys’ division, Danny Olson of Broomfield, CO, prevailed, while Briana Miller of Allentown, PA, steam-rolled through the18-and-under girls’ division. Billy Thorpe of Dayton, OH, thrived in the 14-and-under boys’ division and Taylor Reynolds of Waterville, ME, won her first title in the 14-and-under girls’ division.

Junior billiard players travelled from 26 states to attend the 23rd Annual BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships in hopes of winning a title, scholarships, prizes, an entry into the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Junior 9-Ball Championships, to connect with friends and to make new friends.

2011 BEF nationals 2011 BEF Junior National Billiards Champions Crowned

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) crowned four winners in the 2011 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships. Over 100 junior pocket billiard players gathered in the Huskies Den at Northern Illinois University on July 6-10 to compete for the title in 4 divisions.

In the 18-and-under boys’ division, the top finishers were no strangers to junior billiards. Danny Olson, determined to better his 4th place finish in 2010 and finishing a respectable 7th place in the 2010 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships, proved to be a tough contender this year. Olson steadily proceeded through the winner’s bracket with wins over Jeremy Johnson 9-2, J.C. Torres 9-1, Kevin Sun 9-7, Zachary Leonard 9-3, and Tyler Styer 9-3 before losing to Brendan Crocket 6-9. Crockett, 2009 champion of the 14-and-under boys’ division, smoothly sailed through the winner’s bracket without a loss. Crockett defeated Refugio Vara 9-0, Edwin Gomez 9-4, Chris Byers 9-3, Chad Behnke 9-4 and Danny Olson 9-6 to claim the seat as the only undefeated contestant in the 39 player division. Olson faced Tyler Styer on the one-loss side in a match that almost sealed any chance of him winning his last opportunity, because of age eligibility, for a Junior National title. But a well executed safety by Olson when the score was 8-8 found Styer’s three-rail kick only inches short of hitting his target, giving Olson ball-in-hand on the 5-ball. Olson ran out for the win and a chance for a rematch with Crockett in the one set finals. Olson kept his winning momentum, capturing the match 11 games to 6 and his first title as the Junior National 9-Ball Champion.

In the 18-and-under girls’ division, Briana Miller zipped through the tournament losing only a hand-full of games. The fierce and determined 15 year old bulldozed her way through matches over Kendra Britt 7-0, Caitlyn Shuping 7-0, Kendra Russell 7-2 and Brooke Zimmermann 7-3 before taking charge in the final match against Zimmermann, 9-0 and seizing her fifth title as Junior National Champion in the girls’ division.

Billy Thorpe won his second consecutive title in the 14-and-under boys’ division by breezing through several matches including wins over Marcus Abney 7-2, Nathan Bourque 7-1, Sergio Rivas 7-3, Austen Russell 7-1, Joey Torrez 7-2 and Shawn Begay 7-0 before claiming the honors of being the only undefeated player in the 49 player field. Also moving forward through the winner’s bracket was Shawn Begay of Gallup, New Mexico. Begay inched his way with victories over Nick Evans 7-6, Justin St. Andrews 7-5, JonMichael Monegato 7-4, Tyler Brandom 7-6 and Ricky Evans 7-3 before facing the reigning champion, Billy Thorpe, for the winner’s bracket seat. Thorpe sent Begay to the one-loss side to battle with Austen Russell. Begay prevailed with a 7-6 win over Russell and earned a chance to dethrone Thorpe. Thorpe secured his title as reigning champion with a 9-5 win over Begay.

In the 14-and-under girls’ division, it was former runner-up Taylor Reynolds who eagerly made it through the winner’s bracket defeating April Larson 7-3 and 7-1 wins over both Katilyn Hall and Julianna Poutry before the finals match. Poutry made her way on the winner’s bracket with wins over Katelin Ballou 7-1 and Karsyn Terry 7-6 before losing to Taylor Reynolds 1-7. Poutry faced Larson on the one-loss side, finishing in 3rd place. April Larson, a newcomer from Bloomington, Minnesota, steered her way through the one-loss side for another chance to play Reynolds. Larson, a well poised eleven year old, calmly, but quickly dashed ahead in the r Read more ...