Proudly displaying medals earned at the Wes Schoppe Manhattan Beach Junior Internal tournament are (back row, left to right). Eric Yu, Sam Schwarz, Yoshi Cohn, Jennifer Lu, Shawn Whong, Ashley Belandres, Nathan Trinh, Ploy Nilmas, (front row) Lulu Yu, Kelly Trinh, Shirleen Chen, Lynn Wang, Moose Cohn, Denzil Tintut, Ray, and Dillon Kanai. Photo courtesy of David Levin
Badminton players from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru and the U.S. competed in the Wes Schoppe Manhattan Beach Junior International tournament last week at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club
Local players had a strong showing, with several advancing to Sunday’s final matches.
In the boys U19 singles division, Loma Linda Academy’s Mong Yung Ong beat Mira Costa incoming senior Eric Yu 21-17, 21-16 while Mira Costa junior Shirleen Chen rebounded to defeat Peru’s Flavia Stiglich 20-22, 21-15, 21-8 for the girls U19 crown.
“Chen’s win was a huge upset,” tournament director Dean Schoppe said. “She’s a very academic-minded student and hasn’t been playing that much, but she got better every day and peaked in the finals.”
Chen teamed with Mira Costa teammate Lynn Wang in girls U22 doubles competition but fell in the championship match 21-13, 21-5 to Massachusetts’s Nicole Frevold, considered one of the top U.S. players, and Peru’s Flavia Stiglich.
Mira Costa alumni Shawn Whong and Chad Naramore captured the boys U22 doubles title with a 24-26, 21-14, 21-8 win over Sam Schwartz (Mira Costa) and up-and-coming Lithuanian player Alan Plavin.
Despite the loss, Schwartz was a two-time winner teaming with Simeon Tong (University High, San Diego). His team won the boys U17 boys double championship with a 21-2, 21-18 victory over the San Gabriel Valley team of Eric Lam and Brandon Lim.
Then Schwartz and Frevold captured the U17 mixed doubles crown with a 21-18, 21-8 win over San Gabriel’s Mary Nguyen and Lim.
Playing up in the girls U17 doubles tournament, Mira Costa incoming freshmen Scarlet Luo and Audrey Mei placed second, falling to Peru’s Micaela Castillo and Siglich 21-5, 21-10 in the championship match.
In boys U15 doubles finals, Manhattan Beach Middle School students Musashi Jay Cohn and Eric Mai lost to the the Las Vegas team of Derrick Wong and Paul Yoo 21-13, 21-19.
Manhattan Beach’s Lullu Yu teamed with Aileen Sun, of San Gabriel, to capture the girls U15 doubles title.
Overall, the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club played their way to thirty-eight medals from ages U11 to U22. Out of twenty-nine Manhattan Beach players, twenty-one of them placed in their events.
Although she only played badminton for one year, Mira Costa junior Yoshiko Cohn has developed a passion for the sport. Her insight of the tournament is posted on the website badmintonmonthly.com.