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Mary Rakin Wins World Junior Championships in All-American Final
Nov 17, 2006, 10:29 AM

Mary Rakin, of Daly City, Calif., brought the thunder to the land down under, winning the 2006 World Junior 9-Ball Championships, held Nov. 13-17 in Sydney, Australia.

After plowing through a tough international field, Rakin met teammate and Albuquerque, N.M. native Anna Kostanian in the final. As both women were 18 years old, this year marked the last chance for them to compete for this coveted title. Accordingly, it was a thrilling hill-hill battle, with Rakin taking top honors.

Rakin and Kostanian were joined by Centerville, Ohio native Liz Lovely, Girls 14 & under national champion, in representing America in Sydney. Lovely suffered a first-round defeat to Taiwain's Hsiao Wen Wu, 7-1. She proved her mettle in the losers' bracket, however, whitewashing Amy-Claire King of South Africa, 7-0, and Kristina Shagan of Germany, 7-3, before getting knocked out in a hill-hill defeat to Keng Chun Lin in round three.

Rakin and Kostanian were both undefeated going into the final, sweeping the bracket in convincing fashion and assuring the Americans a win in the final. Big things are expected of both players, as last year's champion, Jasmin Ouschan of Austria, went on to win the Enjoypool.com 9-Ball Championship over Allison Fisher after her win.

The boys team consisted of Boys 19 & under champion Justin Bergman, Boys 19 & under third-place finisher Daniel Rakin (brother of Mary), Boys 14 & under champion Austin Murphy and runner-up Ryan Dunn. The boys did not have the same success as the girls in their formidable field of 32 players; all found themselves in the losers' bracket by the end of round two.

Murphy went the farthest, missing the quarterfinal by a tough 9-5 loss to Yevgen Novosad of Ukraine.

Look for more in depth coverage in the January 2007 issue of Billiards Digest