Weisskopf ’08 defeats top U.S. player at Pan Am Games
Ricky Weisskopf, shown defeating Yale’s No. 1 player in 2007, Nick Chirls, defeated former Yale and current U.S. No. 1 Julian Illingworth, who now plays professionally, at the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Could Ricky Weisskopf ’08 still be improving? That appeared to be the case last week at the Pan Am Games, where Weisskopf earned the most impressive win of his career while competing as the No. 1 player on El Salvador’s national squash team.
Weisskopf (San Salvador, El Salvador), a three-time College Squash Association All-American at Bates, defeated the top American player, Julian Illingworth, a top-50 ranked professional and the No. 1 player at Yale from 2003 to 2006, by a score of 9-3, 9-0, 9-5 in the team competition. Illingworth, who was likely fatigued facing Weisskopf the morning after playing in the individual final, defeated Weisskopf while playing for Yale on Jan. 22, 2006 by a 9-6, 9-6, 9-2 score.
“Ricky is full of surprises,” said Bates head coach John Illig of the news.
Weisskopf’s point was the only one for El Salvador in a 2-1 loss to the U.S. That followed a 3-0 loss to Mexico, in which Weisskopf lost to the singles champion, Mexico’s Eric Galvez, 9-4, 9-3, 9-4.
In the individual competition that preceded the team competition, Weisskopf lost in the first round to the top-seeded player, Canada’s Shahier Razik, 9-0, 9-2, 9-1. Galvez later defeated Illingworth for the individual championship.
The Pan Am Games are an Olympic-style event held every four years. The 2007 Games, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil from July 13-29, expects to draw 5,500 athletes from 42 countries across the Western Hemisphere. Weisskopf has competed for his national team since age 16.
Illig said Weisskopf is in New York City this week, working with children at the Harlem-based squash program called StreetSquash. There Weisskopf is teaching both squash and astronomy as part of his George Wigton Scholarship. Weisskopf set up his scholarship program with the director of squash at StreetSquash, Bates grad Pat Cosquer ’97. Weisskopf will spend the fall semester studying in Rome and will return to Bates in January for the heart of the 07-08 season.