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Mackenzie Weisz and Mia Cambiaso

Jaqui Casey and Timmy Dutta

Jack McLean and Nico Escobar

Mackenzie Weisz

Hope Arellano

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Avendano Junior Tournament A Smashing Success

Written by: Alannah Castro
Client: Polo Training Foundation
Release Date: 2015-02-16

Wellington, FL - February 16, 2015 - GJ Racing defeated Patagones to win the final of the Avendano Junior Tournament at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Leading up to the finals, eight teams played to determine who would advance to the semifinals.  Dutta Corp. defeated Palm City Polo 3-2. Patagones and Grand Champions tied 2-2, but Patagones won according to Rainbow Rule (the ball is thrown in from the center, and the first team to get the ball over the backline is the tiebreaker winner).

The Avendano Junior Tournament, hosted by the Polo Training Foundation, is a tournament for polo players ages 15 and under. Participants are divided by experience level and placed on appropriate teams so matches are fair for all players. At the most advanced level, teams play two chukkers that last seven minutes each. From lead line through advanced play, the atmosphere is welcoming and fun in addition to competitive.  

In their first match, Patagones made a penalty conversion to win at the end of the second chukker and moved on to the finals match. GJ Racing took on Stefano Laviano, winning 2-0. Casablanca won over Nano's Mallets, advancing to the semifinals. The semifinal was an evenly matched contest that went into overtime with Lucas Arellano scoring the winning goal for GJ Racing.

The final match was fast-paced from the start. Candelaria Araujo dodged defenders to score for GJ Racing. Joaquin Avendano of Patagones made an impressive cut shot but went wide of the goal.  Mackenzie Weisz drove a second score in for GJ Racing, ending the first chukker 2-0. Lucas Arellano scored the lone goal in the second chukker on a penalty conversion that cemented the win for GJ Racing.

Mackenzie Weisz, who played for GJ Racing, was named MVP of the final match. This year was his fifth time playing in the Avendano Junior Tournament.
"I thought we played really well," said Weisz. "We stuck with our man and didn't give up. We followed each other."

Gonzalo Avendano, son of tournament founder Carlos Avendano, said he believes it is a valuable experience for young players.

"I think it's the first step for any player," said Avendano. "Today many of the players who have played in the U.S. Open have started here in this tournament."


Advanced A:
1st Place: GJ Racing
Lucas Arellano           MVP:  Mackenzie Weisz
Cipi Echezarreta        BPP:  Candelaria Araujo
Candelaria Araujo
Mackenzie Weisz

2nd Place: Patagones
Joaquin Avendano
Malia Bryan
Santiago Llavallol
Jack McLean

Advanced B:
1st Place: Tato's Mallets     
Richard Gollell        Sportsmanship Award: Juanse Olivera
Thomas Gunnell     BPP: Kristos Magrini
Santos Merlos
Noqui Tognini

2nd Place: Blue Water Creek Polo Club
Jacobo Bacariza
Landen Daniels
Juanse Olivera
Mason Sease

Upper Intermediate:
1st Place: Eagles
Zac Beim      Sportsmanship Award: Jasmine Stanhope-White   
Breanna Heiston                    MVP:  Olivia Merlos
Christian Oberschneider        BPP: Sophia Aguerre
Joseph Schwartz

2nd Place: PTF
Ford Middendorf
Angus Middleton
Lucas Raimondo
Jasmine Stanhope-White

3rd Place: Huskies
Sophia Aguerre
Juana Criado
Serena Gonzalez
Olivia Merlos

Middle Intermediate:
1st Place: Alex Photo
 Matteo Bilbao      Sportmanship Award: Francisco Spinacci
Leon Donoso        BPP:  Antonio Aguerre
Lucas Gonzalez   MVP: Miguelito Novillo  Astrada

Carson Wilt

2nd Place: Polo School at Grand Champions
Miguelito Novillo Astrada
Francisco Spinacci
Santos Goti
Hector Rogberg

3rd Place: Polographics
Antonio Aguerre
Javier Celis
Saralynn Painter
Ben Soto

Lower Intermediate:
1st Place: County Line Feed                    
Zoey Echezarreta   Sportsmanship Award: Zoey Echezarreta
Gigi Fenner             MVP: Alfie Hyde
Juli Ezcurra             BPP: Finn Secunda
Alfie Hyde

2nd Place: La Martina
Maria Celis
Carl Gittens Jr.
Santiago Gonzalez
Finn Secunda

Walk Trot Canter:
The Tackeria         Sportsmanship Award:  Noah Hyde
Andrew Custer
Buhl Fenner
Mark Filenenko

The Morning Line
Roman Bogani
Noah Hyde
Arslan Rizvi

Walk Trot:
Grady Johnson
Weston Meade
Harrison Reicher
Maeve Reicher

Cruz Bilbao
Lorenzo Ramirez
Luci Ramirez
Nikko Ramirez

Leadline Division:
American Polo Horse     Sportsmanship Award: Alex Lavine
Alex Lavine
Mia Fernandez
Theodore Reicher
Juan Rodriguez Jr.


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