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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Milwaukie’s Knoth bags racquetball’s intercollegiate title

Taylor Knoth of Milwaukie did himself proud earlier this month when he captured the men’s gold singles title at the USA Racquetball National Intercollegiate Championships in Tempe, Arizona.

A sophomore at Oregon State University and the national tournament’s top seed, Knoth defeated third-seeded Nick Montalbano of Colorado State in the final, 15-2, 15-10.

Knoth’s accomplishment gained him a spot on the adult U.S. National Team.

It also gained him recognition in the April 25 issue of “Sports Illustrated.” Knoth is one of the athletes featured in SI’s “Faces in the Crowd” column.

Knoth didn’t have a close match en route to the finals, advancing through wins over Russell Powers of Iowa Lakes Community College (15-0, 15-2), David Lyvers of Purdue University (15-1, 15-3), Eric Gordon of Georgia Health University (15-4, 15-5) and over fourth-seeded John Craig Chisholm of Boston University (15-5, 15-7).

Montalbano upset second-seeded Danny Lavely of the University of Arizona in the semifinals, 15-10, 15-11.

Longtime successful in Junior Racquetball, Knoth last year won 18-U singles titles at Junior Nationals and at the Junior World Championships.

He was USA Racquetball’s male “2010 Junior Athlete of the Year.”

Knoth’s career has included five World Junior titles, 16 USA Racquetball National Junior titles and three USA Racquetball National High School titles.

A graduate of La Salle Prep in Milwaukie, Knoth is the first player in the history of the national high school tournament to have won three singles titles.

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