Central Qualifier – Four Fathers Brewery Hosts Exciting First Event

With many spots up for grabs in the Canadian National Pickleball League, participants at the first qualifier of 2024 at Cambridge’s Four Fathers Brewery premier venue put on quite a show. There were a few familiar faces in attendance, and many more new ones, and the action didn’t disappoint.

Fighting for spots or just getting in some competition from the 2023 crew included the likes of: Mark Cleminson (re-signed with Southwestern Ontario Brewers), Carolina Hack (re-signed with Toronto United), Corey Osborne (Northern Rollers), Jessica Kawamoto (Northern Rollers), Jonas Dahler (Northern Rollers), Martina Wynia (Toronto United), and Dan (Toronto United) and Mark Gottfried (Mark re-signed with Toronto United).

The six courts at Four Fathers outstanding facility were alive with the sounds of Dura balls being flung back and forth and the sounds of victors and vanquished alike filling the air. The event saw 50 total players compete in doubles and mixed doubles play on six courts, with the aim of being drafted in one of 33 spots open for CNPL play. Of note, the lower the court number, the tougher the competition (i.e. court 1 was a coveted place to play).

Kawamoto a Force on the Court

Kawamoto lived up to her billing as a prime draft candidate, fashioning a qualifier best 17-3 win-loss overall record. She was a dynamo on the court, combining excellent dinking skills and complementary defensive and offensive acumen with a few different partners. She ended the qualifier tied for the lead in average court — 1.85 with Kyle Hermetz – and awarded the best overall CNPL draft rating at 0.85.

Following closely behind Kawamoto was Ryan Torresin, an athletic relative newcomer who banged his way to a 14-4 record and a 0.81 draft rating. Not far behind Torresin was Kyle Hermetz, who rounded out a very impressive top 3 with a 13-7 record and 0.79 draft ranking, which was 0.11 higher than fourth place Leanna MacDonnell.

Top 10 Ranked Pickleballers Are No Slouches

Rounding out the top 10 were some very talented Pickleballers who fought hard over the two-day qualifier to put them in contention. In order with record and draft rating were: 5. Joanna Phang (11-9, 0.65); 6. Amanda Rosati (14-7, 0.64); 7. Sneha Iyer (12-7, 0.64); 8. Graham Hilyer (13-8, 0.63); 9. Sara McInnes (9-9, 0.57) and 10. Corey Osborne (13-7, 0.57).

Outside of an impressive top 10, three players, including veteran Cleminson, all tied with a 0.54 draft rating. Cleminson was ranked 11th, based on his 9-6 record. Jacob Fortin finished 12th based on a 12-10 record and notable 2.14 overall average court, which was fifth lowest. Michael Chao rounded out the three in 13th with a respectable 11-8 record.

Among the other 2023 veterans, Martina Wynia placed 16th overall with a 10-10 record and 0.44 ranking. Not far behind was Toronto United teammate Carolina Hack, who acquitted herself well with an 11-8 mark and 0.38 draft ranking, good for 19th overall. Not far down the list, was former Roller Jonas Dahler. Dahler was 24th ranked, with a 9-10 record and 0.34 draft rating.

Dan and Mark Gottfried of champion United, were 28th and 31st overall, respectively and will be in tough to make the cut down the road. Mark has already been re-signed by United so had little incentive to push beyond his 8-8 record while Dan was 10-8.

Top 25 Has Some Diamonds in the Rough

Outside of the top 13 and returning 2023 veterans, there were a few other talented players to take note of going into the Ottawa and Vernon qualifiers.

Mark De Abreu had a decent 12-9 record to place 14th overall behind Chao, including a 0.48 draft rating. At 15th was Brian Rim, who went 10-10 and earned a 0.45 rating. Tara Di Giuseppe was 17th overall with an 11-8 mark and 0.42 rating, followed closely in 18th by Natalie Araya, who was 9-9 and rated 0.41. Rounding out the top 20 was Darren H. Wang with a 9-6 record and 0.38 rating.

Going into the Vernon and Ottawa events, the ones to watch will surely be Kawamoto and Torresin to see if they get knocked off the top spot in a battle for first pick overall. The two will have some stiff competition, especially from those who have yet to compete, but may be a good bet to go top 5.

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *