Stamford, CT — As part of the 2016 College Squash Association Individual Championships, a gala to honor past winners of the Ramsay Cup (women’s individual championship) and the Pool Trophy (men’s individual championship) was held.
Chelsea Piers, the host of this year’s tournament, organized the gathering. The event was held in Chelsea Piers’ LOFT event space.
Current players, coaches, past champions, and fans arrived at the event along a red carpet. After an hour of mingling, attendees were greeted by Wendy Lawrence, the head coach of George Washington University and Women’s College Squash Association president, and Martin Heath, the head coach of the University of Rochester and the Men’s College Squash Association president. Natalie Granger, Chelsea Piers’ Director of Squash, also welcomed guests at the packed event.
Twenty-seven past champions of the Ramsay Cup and Pool Trophy were present for the gala, which represented forty-four years college squash play.
For the women, the following Ramsay Cup winners were in attendance: Lee Howard (Radcliffe College/Harvard University, 1973 winner); Gail Ramsay (Pennsylvania State University, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980 winner); Alicia McConnell (University of Pennsylvania, 1982, 1983, and 1984 winner); Demer Holleran (Princeton University, 1986, 1987, and 1989 winner); Vanya Desai (Harvard University, 1993 winner); Libby Eynon (Harvard University, 1995 winner); Jessica DiMauro (University of Pennsylvania, 1996 winner); Julia Beaver (Princeton University, 1999, 2000, and 2001 winner); Laura Gemmell (Harvard University, 2010 winner); Amanda Sobhy (Harvard University, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 winner); and Kanzy El Defrawy (Trinity College, 2016 winner).
For the men, the following Pool Trophy winners were present: Charles Ufford (Harvard University, 1952 and 1953 winner); Ben Heckscher (Harvard University, 1956 and 1957 winner); Walter Oehrlein (United States Military Academy at West Point, 1965 winner); Howard Coonley (University of Pennsylvania, 1966 winner); Anil Nayar (Harvard University, 1967, 1968, and 1969 winner); Palmer Page (University of Pennsylvania, 1971 winner); Ned Edwards (University of Pennsylvania, 1979 winner); John Nimick (Princeton University, 1981 winner); Jeff Stanley (Princeton University, 1987 and 1988 winner); Daniel Ezra (Harvard University, 1996 winner); Bernardo Samper (Trinity College, 2002 winner); Yasser El Halaby (Princeton University, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 winner); Baset Chaudhry (Trinity College, 2008 and 2009 winner); Todd Harrity (Princeton University, 2011 winner); Amr Khaled Khalifa (St. Lawrence University, 2013 winner); and Ahmed Abdel Khalek (Bates College, 2015 and 2016 winner).
After the audience recognized the champions with applause, the Richey and Skillman awards were presented.
The Skillman Award is given annually to a senior men’s squash player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during his entire college career. The 2016 Skillman Award was presented to St. Lawrence University’s Amr Khaled Khalifa, the 2013 Pool Trophy winner.
The Richey Award, which is given annually to the women’s college squash player who best exemplifies the ideals of squash in her love of and devotion to the game, her strong sense of fairness, and her excellence of play and leadership, was presented to Trinity senior and the 2016 Ramsay Cup champion, Kanzy El Defrawy.
The evening’s program concluded with three players and two coaches being inducted into the Halls of Fame.
Carol Weymuller, Hobart College’s coach from 1995 – 2011, was the first inductee. Dent Wilkens, the master of ceremonies, accepted on behalf of Weymuller. She was also inducted into the US Squash Hall of Fame in 2008.
Marcus Cowie, a two-time Pool Trophy winner, was the second inductee. He was unable to attend the evening’s events, but Paul Assaiante, the head men’s coach at Trinity College, read Cowie’s acceptance letter.
Yasser El Halaby, Princeton University’s four-time Pool Trophy winner, honored his coaches, including the late Bob Callahan, and teammates in his acceptance speech.
The sole inductee into the Women’s College Squash Association Hall of Fame was Julia Beaver. She is one of only five women to capture at least three Ramsay Cups.
The final inductee of the evening was Harvard coach Billy Doyle. In 2007, Doyle was inducted into the Women’s College Squash Association Hall of Fame. This year, he was also recognized by the Men’s College Squash Association. Doyle guided the Crimson men to five Potter Cups (national team championships).
CollegeSquashAssociation.com will have more in-depth coverage of the Richey and Skillman awards in the coming weeks and months. In addition, profiles of the five new members of the men’s and women’s Hall of Fames will be published.
For photos from the gala, please visit mtbello.com.