HARFORD, Conn. – After the opening day of the College Squash Association Individual Championships, Harvard junior Ali Farag is the only member of Crimson remaining in the Pool Division draw with a chance to win the national title. The other three participants suffered defeats to fall into the tournament's consolation brackets.
Farag, who is seeded second and the reigning national champion, opened up his title defense by defeating Michael Sunderland of Cornell, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10, in the round of 32. He followed up his performance by taking care of Princeton's Samuel Kang, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, to move into the quarterfinals, where he'll face Rochester's Andres Duany at 1:30 p.m. Farag won both of their meetings this season, including one last weekend in the CSA Team Championships, and would advance to the semifinals against St. Lawrence's Amr Khaled Khalifa or Princeton's Tyler Osborne at 6:30 p.m. with a third.
Brandon McLaughlin was also in the draw, and he made quick work of Dylan Ward of Princeton, 11-2, 11-2, 11-4, to move into the round of 16. However, St. Lawrence's Khalifa, the No. 3 overall seed in the championship, prevailed, 12-10, 11-3, 11-5, to drop McLaughlin into the second round consolation. He'll face Chris Hanson of Dartmouth at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The only other two members from Harvard in the Pool Division, Nigel Koh and Gary Power, both dropped their first match of the day. Koh fell to No. 5 Ahmed Abdel Khalek of Bates, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4, and Power lost to Kang, 13-11, 14-12, 11-8, to go to the first round consolation bracket.
Power had better luck in his second match, an 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 triumph against Sunderland to move into the consolation quarterfinals versus Rochester's Adam Perkiomaki at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. On the other hand, Koh saw his junior season come to an end in five games against Neil Martin of Yale, 10-12, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7.
In the Molloy Division, Tommy Mullaney, Harvard's only competitor, received a bye into the round of 16 against Alex Arjoon. He outlasted the Franklin & Marshall sophomore, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, to move into the quarterfinals against No. 5 Vivek Dinodia of Princeton at 10:40 a.m. Saturday.