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Middle States Regional Championships

Posted on June 7, 2021 by under Hobbies, Travel.    

About thirty players from our #ICTpickleball family traveled to St. Louis last week to compete in the 2021 USA Pickleball Middle States Regional Championships. My friend Karen Fox rode with Brian and me. We left Wichita first thing in the morning and arrived in St. Louis around three in the afternoon. When we arrived, Dave New had already scoped out the location and grabbed the perfect spot for our crew.

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They converted the Dwight Davis Tennis Center into 40 pickleball courts and we set up our #ICTpickleball base camp in the grassy area right by court 27. We really had the best spot there because it had great access to all of the courts and was pretty much the only grassy area available. We also grabbed one of the picnic tables tucked under the bleachers and moved it to Dave’s tent canopy, and claimed it as seating for those in our group who flew to St. Louis (instead of driving up) and couldn’t bring their lawn chairs.

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Here’s a picture of the early crew. Besides claiming a spot for Dave’s canopy, we also decided to play a few practice games.

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After playing some games with my #ICTpickleball fam, Brian and I went to meet “my friend I hadn’t met yet” Kat Tomlin at Des Peres Park. The park only has three pickleball courts but they are lighted and beautiful. The park itself is expansive and amazing and is a real neighborhood gem. The park is so nice that if I were looking for a house to buy in St. Louis, I would totally pick that area.

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I made all sorts of new friends on this trip. This is Bob Myers, a pickleball player from Texas who also knows my friend Rodel Chiu who is another friend who falls under the “friend I haven’t met yet” category.

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Here’s a picture of me and my friend Tiffany Lesperance on singles day.

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These are Ramon Lozano and Kyle Starkel (aka Nick Soapdish). Ramon is from Hays but we claim him as part of our extended #ICTpickleball family.

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My friend Kat and I decided to wear our navy Lucy Kovalova FILA pickleball outfits and be matchy matchy on singles day. It’s still fun to twin even though we weren’t actually playing together.

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They had a roving professional photographer at the tournament who snapped this picture of me while I was playing one of my matches. I thought it was cool that you could see Kat in her matching outfit in the background.

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This is the Women’s Singles 3.5 50+ podium picture with Karen taking Gold and Tiffany taking Bronze. Singles was a good day for our group, despite the afternoon portion of the tournament being pushed to the next day due to sudden torrential downpour. We took home ten medals altogether — 4 Gold medals, 3 Silver medals, and 3 Bronze medals. You can see the full results tally here.

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Anyway, because of the rain, they canceled all of the matches for the rest of the day so Erica and I didn’t get our singles medals until the next day. Since the rain put a damper on things (literally, no one could play pickleball because it was pouring outside and the courts were wet), a bunch of us decided to get some BBQ instead.

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Friday was Women’s Doubles day and our group did pretty decent. Karen and Jenny (Cole) took Bronze in 3.5 35+ division.

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Jen Reifschneider and Jennifer Tiano (together they are known as “The Jens”) took Silver in 3.5 19+ division.

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Laurie Newton and her partner Karen Fielding took Bronze in 3.5 50+ division.

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While Erica and I took Bronze in the 3.0 35+ division. I thought it worked out great that all the ladies played in different divisions so we weren’t all competing for the same medals. We all had an opportunity to reach the podium in our respective groups without having to fight one of our friends for it.

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I really liked their magnet board where you could tell which referee is assigned to which court and which refs are available or on break at a given moment.

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Saturday was Mixed Doubles day. The roving photographer got some pictures of me and my partner Chris Wilson.

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We marked our spot with a Wichita flag to make our group easy to find for #ICTpickleball players arriving later that week. I love this pic because the ladies were all sporting their Chicken N Pickle gear.

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We were more spread out early in the day but then we had to move everything (and everyone) under the canopy when it started raining.

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Just some of our group trying to stay dry.

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Picture of me with Erica and Karen.

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Friday was a cold and wet women’s doubles day.

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Brian, pretty much the entire time we were there. LOL.

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Saturday was mixed doubles day. Here’s a pic of Tiffany and Donnie. They earned Gold in mixed 3.5 50+ division. You can see the full results tally here.

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This was such a fun trip. We get to do it all again when we go to the Great Plains Regional Championships in Colorado in a few weeks. Stay tuned for pics from that. Until then, GNG.

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  • Singles Tournament Results on February 26, 2021
  • Independence Day Cookout on July 11, 2020

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