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Farag Claims Second Individual National Crown to Cap Senior Year

Farag (left) claims his second national title with a, 3-1, win over Amr Khaled Khalifa (right) (photo courtesy: Michael T. Bello).

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.Ali Farag capped off his senior year with his second individual national championship after a 3-1 win over defending national champion Amr Khaled Khalifa of St. Lawrence in the Pool Trophy title match. Farag's win marks the 35th men's individual national title in program history. 

Farag last won the Pool Trophy in 2012 and was looking to defend his title last year when Khalifa upset him, 3-2, in the semifinals. Kalifa went on to win the 2013 individual crown.

In the first game, Kalifa jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Farag battled back to knot the score at three.  Kalifa maintained pace and went on to win game one, 11-6.

Farag fell, 6-2, early in second game before powering back to even the score at six. The two traded points before Farag earned a grueling 13-11 victory.

The Cairo, Egypt, native built off his momentum from game two and took an early 3-2 lead that he would not relinquish en route to an 11-5 win in game three.

One victory away from his second individual national crown, Farag raced to an early lead in game four, but Kalifa did not go down without a fight as he tied the game up at three. Despite Kalifa's best effort, Farag pulled away to take the game, 11-4, and win the Pool Trophy.

On his way to the finals, Farag knocked off Dartmouth's Christopher Jung 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 before downing Dylan Ward of Princeton, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8. 

In the quarterfinals, the senior posted an 11-8, 11-1, 11-1, win over Samuel Kung of Princeton before topping St. Lawrence's Moustafa Bayoumy 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 to earn a trip to the title match.

Farag finished the year with a perfect 20-0 record and two national championships – after helping his team claim its 31st national title just a few weeks ago. The senior was presented with the 2014 Skillman Award, the highest individual honor in men's college squash.