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Race 4 Eight Player Bios

Learn about all of your favorite R48, WR48, SR48, and Race 4 Eight “Super Fans” here!

The Race 4 Eight Elite 8 (March 2018)

[Killian-copy-300x200]Killian Carroll

Age: 6/15/1993

Height: 5’7

Hometown: Cork County, Ireland

Residence: Boston, MA

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Boston Athletic Club/L Street

Favorite athlete: Roger Federer

Favorite pre-match music: random playlist

Best/Favorite shot: Right corner kill

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #1

Strengths: speed, conditioning, relentlessness, tenaciousness, serve, back wall kill

Summary: In just his first season on the Race 4 Eight tour, Killian Carroll captured the crowned jewel of the Race, the Player’s Championship. Carroll redefines tenaciousness and consistently proves that no lead is safe. Carroll has quickly become a crowd favorite for his shot making and retrieving ability, as well as his willingness to give back to the fans and the game. In just his early 20’s, Carroll has already established himself as one of the greatest players to ever play the sport, amassing multiple R48 Player’s Championships, multiple USHA pro singles national championships, and winning virtually every event he enters

[SL-ARCHITEXWIDE-300x169]Sean Lenning

Age: 4/18/1985

Height: 6’2

Hometown: Shoreline, WA

Residence: Shoreline, WA

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Tucson Athletic Club

Favorite athlete: Rickey Henderson

Best/favorite shot: Sapos (lucky shot)

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #1

Strengths: power, serve, unorthodox style, offense from anywhere on the court, fly kill

Summary: Sean Lenning is one of the most feared offensive players in the history of the sport with the ability to dominate any opponent at any time with a rare blend of power serves, fly kills, back wall kills, and off-balance kills. Known simply as “The Freak” for his ability to consistently make seemingly impossible shots, Lenning is always must-see viewing. Lenning added a new moniker to his freak persona: “The Thrill.” During the 2017-2018 R48 7 season, Lenning played three of the most exciting matches in R48 history in three consecutive events, complete with outrageous comebacks, collapses, and drama, making Lenning the Phil Mickelson of handball

Sean Lenning Thrills With a Hat Trick here

[FINK-BOUND-2-300x280]David Fink

Age: 8/2/1977

Height: 5’11½

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Residence: Tucson, AZ

Strong hand: Left

Home Club: Amerifit/Tucson Racquet Club

Favorite athlete: Pete Sampras, Roger Federer

Favorite pre-match music: none

Best/favorite shot: fly kill

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #1

Strengths: aggressiveness from everywhere on the court, serve, fly kill, experience

Summary: David Fink has played in the second most Race 4 Eight stops of any player in the history of the tour and owns three finals appearances in Race 4 Eight events. Known for his fiery on-court persona, Fink puts his heart on the line for every point in every match. Fink is perhaps better known for his broadcasting duties on ESPN3, but make no mistake, Fink comes to every tournament prepared to make his mark, as evidenced by Race 4 Eight wins against Ortiz, Lenning, Peixoto, Moreno, and McCarthy. Fink continues to play alongside the top stars in the sport into his 40’s, defying Father Time and proving that age is just a number

[MANDO-ELECTRIC-300x169]Mando Ortiz

Age: 10/21/1988

Height: 5’6

Hometown: Norwalk, CA

Residence: Norwalk, CA

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Los Angeles Athletic Club

Favorite athlete: Juan Manuel Marquez (boxer)

Favorite pre-match music: Kendrick Lamar/Black Sabbath/System of the Down/Game

Best/favorite shot: rollouts

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #1

Strengths: two-handed offense, power, serve, ability to end rallies with either hand from anywhere on the court

Summary: Mando Ortiz demonstrated the ability to play with the best players in the world as a teenager, defeating then #1 Allan Garner and a host of other top players before turning 20. Ortiz experienced heart palpitations in his early 20’s and had open-heart surgery in 2010. Ortiz came back stronger than ever, defeating R48 #1 Paul Brady twice since 2014 and winning his first R48 title in January of 2016 in Houston by defeating four current or former WPH #1 pros en route to the title. Because of his ability to flat kill the ball from anywhere on the court with both hands and his magnetic personality, Ortiz is a fan-favorite and a player’s nightmare, possessing the ability to take the game out of the hands of the world’s best by serving and shooting his way to victory

Feature on Mando rising to #1 here

[CORDOVALUISCLIPPE22D-300x187]Luis Cordova

Age: 9/13/1990

Height: 6’0

Hometown: Juarez, MX

Residence: Atlanta, GA

Strong hand: Right

Home Club: San Angel Athletic Club

Favorite athlete: Lionel Messi

Best/favorite shot: Right-handed right corner kill

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #3

Strengths: Right corner kill with the right hand, back wall kill, court coverage, consistency

Summary: “Lucho” is the youngest player to ever finish inside the WPH Race 4 Eight Elite 8 at 21 years old in 2012 and has carried that tremendous start as a 21-year old to one of the most consistent careers on the R48 tour. Armed with one of the best right hands in the world, Cordova can end rallies from anywhere on the court with his stiletto right, even when his opponents know it’s coming. Cordova knows how to play against the best, as evidenced by his tour victories against Mando Ortiz, Luis Moreno, Sean Lenning, Allan Garner, and David Fink. Lucho makes up half of the “Flying Cordovas,” with both he and brother Danos earning their nicknames by diving, sliding, and flying all over the court to make outrageous retrieves

[DANIEL-NIGHT-FURY-300x169]Daniel Cordova

Age: 9/10/1992

Height: 5’10

Hometown: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Residence: Atlanta, GA

Strong hand: Right

Home court: San Angel Athletic Club

Favorite Athlete: Usain Bolt

Favorite pre-match music: Electronic Dance Music

Best/favorite shot: right-handed pass down the left with reverse hop

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #6

Strengths: Hop serve, two strong hands, hops during the rally, mental toughness, speed

Summary: Danos burst onto the Race 4 Eight scene during the 2014-2015 R48 IV season, advancing to the quarterfinals in three of his first four starts as a qualifier and climbing into the Elite 8 after just five events. Daniel advanced to his first R48 semifinal at the 2015 WPH R48 IV Player’s Championship, clinching the 2015 R48 IV Rookie of the Year and solidifying his place amongst the game’s elite. Cordova combines a unique blend of power, speed, versatility, and hops with one of the greatest attitudes on tour to take down great players. Danos makes up half of the “Flying Cordovas,” with both he and brother Lucho earning their nicknames by diving, sliding, and flying all over the court to make outrageous retrieves. Danos is one of the game’s most exciting stars and regularly draws some of the largest galleries at virtually all of his R48 starts

[MARCOS-300x169]Marcos Chavez

Age: 3/20/1974

Height: 5’9

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Residence: Yorba Linda, CA

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Los Angeles Athletic Club

Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant

Best/favorite shot: back wall kill, overhand paddle with spin to the corners rollout

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #7

Strengths: Mixing up his game, preventing his opponents from gaining rhythm, back wall kill, psychological warfare

Summary: Playing as well in his 40’s as he did in his mid 20’s, this crowd-favorite dazzles galleries and frustrates opponents with a mixture of finesse, speed and sneaky power. Chavez is seemingly ageless, often playing his best handball in his sixth or seventh match of an event against players 10-20 years his junior. Chavez prepares for events with rigorous cross training exercises, to included biking, weights, stretching, and a lot of handball. Chavez is an ambassador on the tour and leader amongst his peers, making him one of the most respected players in the sport

[peixotofire-destruction2-300x169]Emmett Peixoto

Age: 10/15/1982

Height: 5’10

Hometown: Watsonville, CA

Residence: Pinole, CA

Strong hand: Right

Home court: The Olympic Club

Favorite athlete: David Chapman

Favorite pre-match music: ERock

Best/favorite shot: left-hand back wall kill

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #2

Strengths: speed, consistency, strong off-hand (left), tenacity, strategy

Summary: Emmett Peixoto has been one of the sport’s top players since the early 2000’s and has consistently contended for the game’s biggest prizes. Known as “The Rock,” Peixoto is a throw back player in a predominately offensive era of pro handball, willing to rally, use the ceiling, and drive his opponents to the back court before seizing his offensive opportunities. Each Race 4 Eight pro knows he will need to bring his running shoes and hardhat to play “The Rock” because win or lose, Peixoto will take his opponents on a tour of the court and make every match a battle of skills and attrition

The Race 4 Eight Pros (listed alphabetically)

[dalton-beall18-1-2-300x169]Dalton Beall

Age: 4/29/89

Height: 5’11

Hometown: Red Bluff, CA

Strong hand: Eugene, OR

Home court: Courtsports Athletic Club

Favorite athlete: Brett Favre

Best/Favorite shot: pass shot

Strengths: two-handed offense, first-strike handball, speed

Summary: The Pride of Oregon (TPO) has established himself as one of the greatest players in the history of Oregon in his late 20’s, winning multiple Oregon state singles titles and many of the most prestigious tournaments in the Pacific Northwest. Beall is a dangerous marksman capable of ending rallies from anywhere on the court with either hand and when firing on all cylinders, is capable of overwhelming any player on the R48 tour

[ADAM-BERNHARD-11-300x169]Adam Bernhard

Age: 5/12/1983

Height: 6’2

Hometown: Houston, TX

Residence: Austin, TX

Strong hand: right

Home court: Gregory Gym

Favorite athlete: Rafael Nadal

Best/favorite shot: right hand v pass to the left

Strengths: patience, defense, back wall kill, strategy

Summary: “Weekend at Bernie’s” is a Harvard educated attorney who brings his courtroom wits to the handball court, putting his opponents to the test on virtually every rally by keeping the ball out of their strike zones and forcing them to play long and analytical rallies. This Texas handball legend has amassed dozen of major titles in the Lone Star State and has proven that he can compete against the best in the world on the R48

[pb1a-300x196]

Paul Brady

Age: 9/1/1979

Height: 5’9

Hometown: Cavan, Ireland

Residence: Dublin, Ireland

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Kingscourt

Favorite athlete: Vince Munoz

Favorite pre-match music: Anything that’s loud

Best/favorite shot: Left-handed V pass

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #1

Strengths: power, agility, lateral movement, shot selection, serve, two-wall pass, back wall kill, everything!

Summary: After five consecutive world titles and 13 R48 titles through the 2015-2016 R48 V season, Paul Brady established himself as one of the greatest players to ever play the sport. Brady brings an unmatched attention to detail, preparation, focus, physical fitness and shot making to the sport, leaving nothing to chance and winning more than 95% of the matches he has played since 2005. Brady lost just three tournament matches from 2004-2015, undoubtedly one of the most dominant eras of any athlete in any sport’s history. This five-time world champion is either the greatest or on a very short list of greatest players to ever live. Brady lives by the manta, “Losing in not an option,” and proves it every time he steps on the court

[RYANBOWLER2-220x300]Ryan Bowler

Age: 5/21/1986

Height: 6’1

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

Residence: Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

Strong hand: right

Home court: Valentine’s Club

Favorite athlete: DeMar DeRozan

Favorite shot: dump corner kill

Strengths: tenacity, court coverage, fist pass, dump kills

Summary: The “Bowl Dog” is one of the most tenacious players in the sport, always willing to do the grunt work to make matches a battle of skill and will. Bowler is the highest-ranked Canadian R48 pro in history, proudly representing the Great White North as he travels to R48 events across the U.S. With R48 wins against Emmett Peixoto, Loren Collado, and Billy O’Donnell, Bowler has proven that he’s a force against the sport’s top stars

[DSC09709-300x169]Leo Canales

Age: 10/17/1995

Height:  5’8

Hometown: Ciudad Juarez Mexico

Residence: Chicago, IL

Strong hand: Right

Home court:  San Angel Athletic Club

Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter

Favorite pre-match music: Rock

Best/Favorite shot: Right corner kill

Strengths: Consistency, court awareness, percentage shot selection

Summary: Leo Canales qualified for the first time at 21 years of age at the R48 6 Minnesota, defeating perennial R48 standout Anthony Selestow to earn his pro status. Canales’ steady and reliable game forces his opponents to play their best to beat him, while testing their patience and conditioning. Canales is part of the new group of R48 “Young Guns” poised to make noise on the Race 4 Eight for years to come. Look out for the “Juarez Kid” in the coming years

[LOREN-COLLADO-1-300x169]Loren Collado

Age: 9/22/1993

Height: 6’2 ½

Hometown: Santa Clara, CA

Residence: Moraga, CA

Strong hand: right

Home court: Olympic Club

Favorite athlete: Ducksy Walsh/Tom Sheridan

Favorite shot: right hand, right corner kill

Strengths: discipline, percentage shot-making, right hand kill

Summary: The Olympic Club’s Loren Collado is a product of Lake Forest College and plays an “old school” style of handball, always playing the percentages and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Collado is one of the sport’s rising young stars and will be a major factor in R48 events in the next decade

[COONdogfog2-300x169]Stephen Cooney

Age: 1/30/1991

Height: 5’8

Hometown: Ballaghaderreen Co. Roscommon Ireland

Residence: New York, NY

Strong hand: Right

Home court: New York Athletic Club

Favorite athlete: Jordan Spieth, Michael Jordan

Favorite pre-match music: Varies

Best/favorite shot: Re-kill

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #8

Strengths: Consistency, paddle re kills, retrieving ability, passion for the game

Summary: “The Coon Dogg” relocated to New York City in 2014 in large part to compete on the Race 4 Eight tour. It did not take long for Cooney to make his mark on handball’s greatest professional tour, moving into the top 10 after just four events during the R48 IV season and earning consecutive Elite 8 invites by season’s end. Cooney is a tenacious bulldog that won’t give an inch to any player and prides himself on making each of his opponents earn every point. Cooney is one of the game’s greatest counter-punchers, almost always making his opponents pay for shooting in front of him or leaving kills up. Cooney’s dedication to his craft makes him one of the game’s true professionals

[PADDY-CHALK-300x169]Patrick Funchion

Age: 3/14/1991

Height: 5’11

Hometown: Callan, Ireland

Residence: Callan, Ireland

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Kells (Ireland)

Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps

Favorite music before a match: Luke Kelly

Favorite shot: Underarm kill

Strengths: consistency, patience, right hand offense

Summary: Funchion qualified for the R48 tour for the first time in Las Vegas ’18, ousting then #19 R48 pro Adam Bernhard to punch his ticket to the main draw. Funchion pushed then R48 #3 Mando Ortiz to a third game, taking the first game before falling in the third. Funchion was trained in the Irish school of handball, meaning he plays the percentages, makes very few mistakes, and can capitalize on opportunities with either hand

[DALTON-N-FUNCHIONPARTICLE-ILLUSION-300x213]Peter Funchion

Age: 2/6/1993

Height: 5’7

Hometown: Callan, Ireland

Residence: Callan, Ireland

Strong hand: right

Home court: Callan Handball Club

Favorite athlete: Usain Bolt

Favorite shot: roll out

Strengths: all-around game, two-handed offense, discipline

Summary: Peter Funchion is one of the game’s most disciplined and dedicated stars, always seeking to improve and traveling thousands of miles, sometimes on back to back weekends, to challenge his game against the best players in the world. Funchion scored his biggest R48 win of his career against former R48 #2 Emmett Peixoto at the 2017 R48 7 Tucson Memorial, flummoxing the R48 star with a combination of kills and passes to advance to his first R48 quarterfinal. Funchion has the desire and dedication to rise to the elite of the sport and is on the short list of young stars to break into the game’s upper echelon

[VOLGARNER-300x169]Allan Garner

Age: 4/22/85

Height: 6’0

Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX

Residence: San Antonio, TX

Strong hand: right

Home court: YMCA Thousand Oaks

Favorite athlete: Deion Sanders

Favorite music before a match: Rock

Favorite shot: left-hand right corner kill

Strengths: power, two-handed offense, back wall, pass shot

Summary: Known as “The Blond Bombshell,” Allan Garner is one of the greatest players of his generation, possessing the ability to end rallies from anywhere on the court with either hand, while also playing methodically and forcing errors. Garner won the 2013 R48 II Plummer and is a former WPH #1, proving he has what it takes to defeat any player in the sport. Since starting a family with his wife Erika in 2013, TBB has played sparingly on the R48 but it always a threat when he is entered in an event

[IGLESIAS-300x169]Jonathan Iglesias

Age: 7/10/1986

Height: 5’6

Hometown: Queens, NY

Residence: Vail, CO

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Denver Athletic Club

Favorite pre-match music: Hip-hop

Best/favorite shot: No-look paddle kill

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #9

Strengths: Front court play, unorthodox kills, back wall kill, fly kill

Summary: Jonathan Iglesias learned how to play handball as an 11-year-old on the 1-Wall courts in New York City, often playing handball for up to 10 hours a day. Iglesias developed a passion for 4-Wall handball, quickly becoming one of the top junior and collegiate 4-Wall players in the country. Iglesias further honed his 4-Wall game at Lake Forest College and has defeated many of the tour’s biggest names, to include Mando Ortiz, Sean Lenning, Luis Moreno, Luis Cordova, and Daniel Cordova. Iglesias plays his best against the best, a testament to his self-belief and imposing skill set

[TGG-vs-Abe-300x169]Max Langmack

Age: 8/29/1995

Height: 6’8

Hometown: Olathe, KS

Residence: Springfield, MO

Strong hand: right

Home court: Dr. Thomas H. Burnett Handball Center

Favorite athlete: Sergei Federov

Favorite shot: right hand kill

Strengths: youth, length, two great hands, great attitude

Summary: At 6’8, Max Langmack became the tallest pro handball player in the history of pro handball with his qualifier win against Abraham Montijo at the 2018 R48 7 Houston. Langmack is one of the game’s most talented young stars and proved that he has the game to compete against the best, as evidenced by playoff wins against Gabhain McCrystal and Marcos Chavez in the R48 7 Houston. Langmack brings tremendous versatility and skill to the court, as well as one of the best attitudes in pro sports. Look for “The Gentle Giant” (TGG) to make headlines on the R48 tour in the near future

[nickm4a-300x200]Nick Mattioni

Age: 3/14/1979

Height: 6’2

Hometown: Reading, PA

Residence: Nashville, TN

Strong hand: right

Home court: Nashville, YMCA

Favorite athlete: Nolan Ryan

Favorite music before a match: Hells Bells AC/DC

Favorite shot: fist

Strengths: power, length, serve, fist pass

Summary: Mattioni is a former Triple A pitcher who was regularly clocked at 94 mph during his pro baseball career. Mattioni is also a former junior national handball champion who combines his 30 years of handball experience with nearly a decade in pro baseball to challenge the best R48 pros in the sport. Mattioni qualified for the R48 tour in his first two attempts and has quickly become one of the most dangerous floaters in the draw

[ROBBIE-MCCARTHY-7-300x169]Robbie McCarthy

Date of birth: 9/13/1987

Height: 6’0

Hometown: Mullingar (Ireland)

Residence: Mullingar (Ireland)

Strong hand: right

Home court: Mullingar Handball Club

Favorite athlete: Vince Munoz

Best/Favorite shot: Paddle Kill

Highest Race 4 Eight Ranking: #6

Strengths: serve, anticipation, speed, power, adaptability, strategy, everything!

Summary: Robbie McCarthy is arguably handball’s most decorated current champion, amassing major titles on the R48 tour, All Ireland 40×20 Championships, All Ireland 60×30 Championships, All Ireland WallBall Championships, and numerous doubles championships. McCarthy appears to play effortlessly, often making the best players in the world look ordinary. Armed with a two-handed power attack, McCarthy can end rallies from anywhere on the court or rally endlessly until his opponents can no longer breathe. McCarthy won three Race 4 Eight titles in his first six R48 starts, including two U.S. Open championships. The pride of the McCarthy family in Mullingar, McCarthy exudes professionalism and a fierce desire to win

[GAB-BRIGHT-PARTY-300x280]Gabhain McCrystal

Age: 7/19/1995

Height: 5’9

Hometown: Brackey co Tyrone, Ireland

Residence: Philadelphia, PA

Strong hand: right

Home court: Brackey

Favorite athlete: Ronaldo

Favorite music before a match: Calvin Harris

Favorite shot: two-wall pass

Strengths: left-hand offense, Irish school handball, speed

Summary: McCrystal is a former 19-and-under U.S. national champion and brings the Irish school of handball to the R48 tour. McCrystal is adept at playing the percentage game, but can also play offense from anywhere on the court, making him unpredictable and effective. With McCrystal now residing in the U.S., look for the rising R48 star to continue to climb the WPH rankings

[ABRAHAM-mystic-windultrapsd-300x146]Abraham Montijo

Age: 7/8/1988

Height: 5’11

Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Residence: Tucson, AZ

Strong hand: Right

Home court: Tucson Racquet Club

Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan, Larry Fitzgerald

Favorite pre-match music: Hip-hop

Best/favorite shot: Power serve to the right

Strengths: tenacity, speed, serve, right-hand offense

Summary: Abraham Montijo is a relentless competitor with an insatiable drive to challenge the best, while always trying to take his game to the next level. Montijo frequently spars with Elite 8 pros in Tucson, routinely pushing the Elite 8 to the limit in grueling practice matches. Montijo has taken down several of the best in Race 4 Eight play, to include Sean Lenning, Luis Cordova, and Stephen Cooney

Many more bios here: https://wphlive.tv/race-player-bios/


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