New duo takes pool championship
Students gathered in The Pit, Thursday night for the Doubles Pool Tournament, with a new duo that surprised the crowd with the championship.
The tournament was won by Ben Obanion, 23, senior of Boulder, Colorado, and his partner Dean Michel, 20, junior of Rawlins, Wyoming.
“Exhilarated,” Obanion said, describing how he felt after the last game.
Obanion considers pool to be one of his hobbies.
“I play three to four days a week,” Obanion said. He has participated in the past two doubles tournaments and finally won on his third attempt.
“It feels great,” Michel said after taking the title with his partner. They both walked away with a premium Cuetec 5.5.1 pool stick.
Jeff Olly, 20, sophomore of Denver, and Nathan Baca, 20, junior of Los Angeles, finished in second place.
“I feel like we came a long way. At the end of the day, we played our hearts out and had fun,” Baca said, surprised to have been in the final round.
“We took an ‘L,’ but we still made it to the championship,” Olly said, proud of how far his team made it.
The doubles tournament was played in single elimination format. The tournament drew out 24 teams and over 80 students that gathered in the student center. This tournament is one of two that The Pit holds each semester, the other being a singles tournament.
This tournament surprised a lot of the teams playing and the students in the crowd. Many teams expected to make it to the final four were eliminated early. Kyle McClaren, 22, junior of New Underwood, South Dakota, won the past two doubles tournaments he was in, but was eliminated in the second round this time.
“It’s definitely a smaller tournament than before, but the competition is just as good,” McClaren said.
McClaren joined the crowds after being eliminated to see who would take his place as champion.
Twins, Lukas and Konery Klueber, 19, sophomores of Rapid City, South Dakota, were also eliminated
early in the tournament. This was another team hopeful to make it to the end, but came up short.
“We had a good turnout. Ultimately it comes down to you versus the tables and sometimes the balls fall in your favor and sometimes they don’t. I’m happy to see some new faces in the competition,” Konery said.
Eli Garza, 22, junior of Mission, Texas, is in charge of The Pit activities.
“The Pit encourages competitive play, and this pool tournament acts like a beacon for it,” Garza said. “The prizes usually consist of high end pool gear, to encourage more play.”
The Pit hosts many events that students can compete in. The next Pit event is the cultural dance tonight at 9 p.m. The Pit is working with the International Club to host a dance with music from around the world and encourages students to wear their cultural clothing.