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Rakin is the Last American Standing at the Junior Worlds
Nov 29, 2007, 11:51 AM

Last year, Mary Rakin became the first American to win a WPA Junior World title. Tomorrow, she could win her second.

Of the seven U.S. competitors in both the boys and girls divisions, only the 19-year-old Rakin remains. She has advanced to the semifinal, which will begin tomorrow, Nov. 30, in Willingen, Germany. (Both semis will begin at 10:00 a.m. local time, with the final scheduled for 2:00 p.m.)

In the boys division, Landon Shuffett, who won the 14 & under division at the Junior National Championship in July, was the highest finishing American in the boys division. The 13-year-old sharpshooter finished tied for ninth.

Unlike U.S. national titles, which are awarded in both 19 & under and 14 & under age groups, the Junior World Championship is open to all ages, meaning Shuffett faced opponents six years his senior.

Richard Barney and Christopher Futrell 19 & under champion and runner up, respectively were the next highest Americans, both exiting tied for 17th place.

Rakin began her title defense with a bit of a misstep. She dropped her opening match to Denise Wilkinson of New Zealand, 7-4. But Rakin found her stroke on the left side, to the detriment of her compatriot, Briana Miller. Rakin, 19 & under national champion, faced Miller, 14 & under champ, with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.

Rakin handled her junior teammate, 7-2, to be the lone American to advance to the single-elimination round of 8. Facing Germany's Kristina Schagen in the quarterfinal, Rakin overcame an early deficit to win a double-hill thriller, moving her into the final four.