GNT Open Flight winners from District 9, clockwise from left: Jeff Wolfson, Jeff Meckstroth, David Berkowitz, Gary Cohler, Shan Huang and Kevin Dwyer.
Runners up from District 2, clockwise from left: Jacob Freeman, Daniel Lavee, John Carruthers, Marty Kirr, Darren Wolpert and Bruce Zhu.
Florida takes GNT Championship title
The Florida-based District 9 team captained by Jeff Wolfson won the Grand National Teams Championship Flight when they defeated the District 2 (Ontario) squad led by Jacob Freeman in Sunday’s final, 149–90.
Playing for District 9 were Wolfson, David Berkowitz, Kevin Dwyer, Shan Huang, Gary Cohler and Jeff Meckstroth. District 9 is regularly a favorite in the contest, and several members of this year’s winning team have multiple victories in the event. This is the 15th GNT Championship win for Meckstroth, the ninth for Berkowitz, the eighth for Cohler, and the second each for Wolfson and Dwyer. This is the first open NABC win for Huang, who previously had wins in the Canadian National Teams Championship (he moved to the U.S. in 2020).
Playing for District 2 were Freeman, Daniel Lavee, Bruce Zhu, Darren Wolpert, John Carruthers and Martin Kirr.
In the final, Florida jumped out to a 20-IMP lead in the first quarter, but the Canadians trimmed their opponents’ lead to just 8 IMPs by halftime. Florida remained in control the rest of the match, however, increasing their lead to 26 IMPs in the third set. In the stretch, District 9 held the Canadians to just 4 IMPs, to win the match by 59.
GNT Flight A winners from District 16: Hua Yang, Yan Song, Danny Feng and Lunhui Lin.
Runners up in Flight A, clockwise from left: Juan Castillo, Luisana Madueo, Maris Zilant, Susan Fuller and Linda Epstein.
District 16 wins GNT Flight A
Team Yang (Hua Yang, Yan Song, Danny Feng, Lunhui Lin) of District 16, representing Texas and Mexico, are this year’s Grand National Teams Flight A winners. They defeated Team Castillo (Juan Castillo, Luisana Madueo, Maris Zilant, Linda Epstein, Susan Fuller) from Florida’s District 9.
Yang won each quarter by double-digits, finishing the match 149–117.
Juan Castillo won the Flight A GNTs in 2019 with a different team lineup.
GNT Flight B winners from District 6, clockwise from left: Rick Bingham, Ryan Connors, Adam Kind, Will Colmer, Ernie Schuler and Tom Peters.
Runners up in Flight B: Stefano Merlo, Robert Forster, Christopher Moh and Jordan Lampe.
District 6 wins GNT Flight B final
In the final of the Grand National Teams Flight B, the District 6 team (Virginia/Maryland/DC) led by Richard Bingham topped their District 24 opponents (New York City/Long Island) captained by Stefano Merlo, 122–103.
Bingham played with Mid-Atlantic teammates Ryan Connors, Thomas Peters, Ernie Schuler, Adam Kind and Will Colmer.
In addition to Merlo, the NYC lineup was Robert Forster, Christopher Moh and Jordan Lampe.
District 6 led throughout the match, but District 24 was never far behind. D6 posted a narrow 9-IMP lead in the first quarter which they expanded to 30 IMPs at the half. The New Yorkers made up ground in the third quarter, pulling to within 8 IMPs, but the D6 crew did not falter in the last set, winning the contest by 19 IMPs.
GNT Flight C winners from District 24: Hengrui Xing, Tingran Wang, Jiaheng Hu and Yang Xu.
Runners up in Flight C: Li Miao, Zhiqiang Hu, Henry Shi and Zhijing Tang.
Big apple, big win
The District 24 team representing New York captained by Hengrui Xing are this year’s Grand National Teams Flight C winners. Xing, playing with Tingran Wang, Jiaheng Hu and Yang Xu, survived a fourth-quarter surge by District 13’s Henry Shi, Zhijing Tang, Li Miao and Zhiqiang Hu.
After a close first quarter, Xing took a 37-IMP lead at the half. After three quarters, Xing led by 53. Shi outscored Xing 40–18 in the fourth quarter, but Xing held on to win with a final score of 124–93.