March 12, 2005
University of Pennsylvania , Pottruck Fitness Center
Bill and Louise Meiklejohn are ‘true believers’ in supporting table tennis, especially for seniors, rather generously defined here as players of more than 40 years of age. Far from being in a state of decline, the players at this event showed barrier-crashing enthusiasm.
Ten tables placed on three basketball courts allowed generous spacing for the tables, which was well used by defensive specialists like Gary Gudzenko, Steve Berger, Gary Fraiman and Jan Klemendorf. Attackers also had their day, with special notice going to Mike Heisler, who in the Over 40 first took out Morris Jackson in a five game comeback and then the devastating looper Michael Leshinsky to earn his semi-final match with Musa. A determined Dave Sakai posted fine wins in the same event, first a straight game win over John Wetzler and then another against Gary Fraiman before dropping his semi to De Tran.
Sakai and George Braithwaite (how many times have those two played!) had another classic battle in the Quarterfinals of the Over 50, with Dave advancing this time, 9,8, and 10. But the Over 50 belonged to Jiri Hlava, who without fanfare in workmanlike fashion eliminated Fraiman, Berger and Sakai in the Single Elimination bracket. Jiri did not drop a single game in claiming the title.
George Braithwaite had his moment in the sun when he won a well-played match against Ed Watts in the Over 60 Final, leaving brother and sister Ann Alvarez and Mike Kuklakis as semifinalists.
UPenn’s Al Pendleton did an excellent job in supporting and documenting the day’s play, and everyone was greatly impressed with the silver bowls on walnut bases that supplemented the checks for our champions.
Semi-Finals; George Braithwaite d. Ann Alvarez , 9,4,7,7 ; Edward Watts d. Mike Kuklakis, 7,8,-9,4,5 ; Final: Braithwaite d. Watts 7,9,8,8
Semi-Finals, Dave Sakai d. Jan Klemendorf, 4,8,8 (withdrew), Jiri Hlava d. Steve Berger 8,7,4,10 ; Final: Hlava d. Sakai 9,9,9,10.
Semi-Finals, Atanda Musa d. Mike Heisler, 9,8,9 ; De Tran d. David Sakai, 12,8,6 ; Final: Musa d. Tran 9,8,9
Semi-Finals ; Atanda Musa/De Tran d. Gary Gudzenko/Robert Jones, 8,-10,6,5,5 ; Steve Berger/Jan Klemendorf d. Ann Alvarez/Mike Kuklakis, 8,8,8,9 ; Final: Musa/Tran d. Berger/Klemendorf, 6,9,8,-8,5