Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Duval Racquetball Players Keep Winning Championships

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Duval Racquetball Players Keep Winning Championships

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer

For Neptune Beach resident Susan Pfahler, winning her second U.S. National Racquetball Championship in three years was a relief.

"It showed that I still got it," she said. "I never want to come to the point that I can't win."

Pfahler's women's 45-and-over division featured a woman who beat her in the national finals in 2001, a woman to whom she lost in a tournament this year and a woman she beat in the national finals in 2000. Fortunately for Pfahler, she did not have to face these women in the competition. But the woman she beat in the finals did have to play against them in the four-day single elimination tournament.

"The competition was very tough," Pfahler said. "We've all been playing for a long time and we play against each other a lot."

Pfahler and several other Jacksonville-area racquetball enthusiasts competed during Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. National Championship in Houston. These athletes were seeking the "Holy Grail" of the racquetball world and a few locals like Pfahler and Southside resident Mitt Layton achieved that goal.

Layton said he had a pretty easy time winning his sixth national championship in the men's 50-and-over division.

"I didn't have any problems winning this year," Layton said. "I had a tough semifinal but I've had harder tournaments in the past."

Pfahler and Layton are ranked No.1 in their divisions in the Florida Racquetball Association rankings and have won national championships.

Pfahler, who has been playing racquetball since 1977, has won six singles titles and 15 doubles titles including a doubles National Championship with Mary Lyons at this year's competition. She also competed with Lyons at the Tournament of the Americas hosted by Bolivia in 1993, where they won the doubles title.

"It was real exciting," she said. …

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