The Race for the National Championship
Rocky Carson may be down but not completely out in his quest for the coveted professional racquetball National Champion title. Rocky, currently ranked #2 on the IRT tour, did not help his cause for a 2nd National Championship title this weekend at the 2012 Stockton Pro Am IRT Tier 1 racquetball tournament.
Rocky entered the event trailing Kane Waselenchuk, the current #1 and six-time National Champion, by only 217 season points. With 390 points at stake for a win at the Stockton event, Rocky could have narrowed the point-gap between himself and Kane to just double digits with a Finals appearance or even an unheard of Finals victory over Kane at an IRT T1 event.
But first Rocky had to take care of a not-so-small task known as Alvaro Beltran in the semi-finals. The #6 ranked Beltran, a notoriously slow starter, uncharacteristically came out of the starting gate strong and from the very beginning Rocky Carson knew he was in a dogfight. In a match that lasted over two hours, Alvaro Beltran upset Rocky Carson in four grueling games. With this defeat Rocky Carson acquired only 240 points and all but destroyed any chance to capture a National Championship title.
On the other half of the draw, Kane quickly and easily defeated #5 Chris Crowther in three straight games, allowing Chris a total of six points for the entire match. Kane earned himself another ticket to a Finals event and the opportunity to take the 390 point jackpot.
Like a true champion, Kane seized the opportunity and defeated Alvaro Beltran in four games (7-11), 11-2, 11-4 & 11-5.
Looking forward to next month’s Ektelon Nationals (May 23-27) and barring injury to Kane or Rocky, the only glimmer of hope Rocky has left to claim the National Champion title is for Kane to lose in three straight games in the semi-finals. If Kane wins just one game in a semi’s loss to anyone and Rocky outright wins the Grand Slam tournament, Kane will still lay claim to an unprecedented 7th National Champion title based on points. This means that even if Kane reaches the Finals against Rocky, and Kane loses in three straight games, he would still capture the National Champion title based upon season ending points!
Rocky Carson’s upset loss to Alvaro Beltran in the semi-finals on Saturday was probably the most costly of his long illustrious professional racquetball career.
Summer winds are approaching. WOR and 3 Wall Ball events are right around the corner. Rocky Carson is the King of Outdoor. Unless the ambient temperature in hell drops below 32º in May, Kane Waslenechuk will remain the reigning King of Pro Racquetball.