By Anne Bello
Published Sep 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 11, 2009 at 2:16 PM ET

princetonPrinceton, NJ — Princeton nearly ended Trinity’s record-setting 11-year winning streak not once, but twice last season, narrowly losing the national title 4-5 to the Bantams. The Tigers have squared off against Trinity in the National Team Championships final for the past four seasons. Will this be the year Princeton wins it all?

If so, the defending Ivy League champs will have to do it without Mauricio Sanchez, Kimlee Wong, and Hesham El Halaby, three former All-American and All-Ivy players who graduated last year. Sanchez, the 2009 Ivy League Player of the Year, took Trinity’s Baset Chaudhry to five games in the deciding match of the Team Championships, only to lose to Chaudhry a week later in the individual finals. Together, Sanchez, Wong, and El Halaby led the Tigers to four consecutive Ivy League titles, the only class in Princeton men’s squash history to do so.

While Sanchez, Wong, and El Halaby will be missed, Princeton returns a talented group of players, including four other 2008-2009 All-Americans: sophomore Chris Callis, the 2009 Ivy League Rookie of the Year; junior David Letourneau and senior Dave Canner, who both earned All-Ivy honors; and sophomore Kelly Shannon. Canner, Santiago Imberton, and James Thorman will captain a team with diverse off-court interests. Thorman is president of the Entrepreneurs Club. Matt and Peter Callahan, who has been Student Convener of the Episcopal Church at Princeton, both play on the Tigers’ varsity soccer team. Nikhil Seth is a Resident Advisor to incoming first-year students, and the team as a whole has been involved in community service. The players have stayed busy over the summer, with several teaching at Princeton’s squash camp and twins Peter and Philip Sopher studying Portuguese in Brazil.

Joining the team will be first-year students Todd Harrity and Steve Harrington. Harrity, a former teammate of Callis’s at Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia, has been the top-ranked U-19 player in the US since the 2006-2007 season. Harrity brings international experience to the team, having recently competed in the 2009 World Junior Squash Championships in Chennai, India. Harrington, a graduate of William Penn Charter, was ranked 11th U-19 last year and 14th this year, and was ranked as high as 3rd in the 2006-2007 U-17 rankings.

Princeton will face the up-and-coming Cornell and Rochester squads on the road early in the season and will play perennial contenders Yale and Harvard later on. They will meet Trinity on the Bantams’ home courts in February, a week before the National Team Championships.

2008-2009 Season Recap

SEASON RECORD: 13-2
FINAL RANKING: 2nd
NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2nd; 2nd in Potter Cup (A Division)

2009-2010 Season Preview

Returning Players from Team Championships Roster: Chris Callis ’12 (3, All-American, All-Ivy, 2009 Ivy League Rookie of the Year); David Letourneau ’11 (4, All-American, All-Ivy); Dave Canner ’10 (5, 2nd Team All-American, All-Ivy); Kelly Shannon ’12 (7; 2nd Team All-American); Santiago Imberton ’10 (8); Peter Sopher ’11 (9); Jesus Pena ’12 (10)

Graduating Players from Team Championships Roster: Mauricio Sanchez (1; All-American, Ivy League Player of the Year); Kimlee Wong (2; All-American, All-Ivy); Hesham El Halaby (6; 2nd Team All-American, All-Ivy)

Additions for the 2009-2010 Roster:

  • Expected to play in the top half of the ladder: Todd Harrity (Episcopal Academy, ranked #1 U19)
  • Expected to compete for a spot in the starting line-up: Steve Harrington (William Penn Charter, ranked #14 U19)

Captains: David Canner, Santiago Imberton, James Thorman

Team Goals: To win the Ivy League and National Championships on both the varsity and Junior Varsity level

Key Matches: Cornell, Rochester, Harvard, Yale, and Trinity

To read other team previews, please visit the 2009 – 2010 College Squash Preview Page.