Saturday, September 11, 2010

Linda Byington reports from The Motherlode

Brenda Whicker and I traveled to Aspen to play in The Motherlode on Labor Day weekend. We were seeded 26th out of 34 teams in Women's Open, even with our AVP Next points earned this year at Wasatch Beach. As a result, our first match was with the 7th seed. It was a close match but we lost 22-20 in the second game. That put us in the contender's bracket where we won several matches to earn 9th place and $300.

This was the strongest pool of teams I've seen at The Motherlode. One of the girls who won it last year (and who trains full time with her partner) placed 13th. Before the AVP cancelled the remainder of the season, The Motherlode was positioned as an AVP Qualifier, and the guaranteed prize money was much better than in previous years. After the AVP's decision, additional teams registered because this became one of the premier events remaining this year. The result of all this was a huge draw for all divisions. Credit to Paul Mitchell for stepping up to underwrite the prize money that had previously been promised by the AVP.

The weekened in Aspen at The Motherlode was really fun in part because of all the other players who were there from Wasatch Beach. Jenny and Andrea played A - they came out of their pool and placed well. Brad Collins and Matt Gordon played Open. Diane Gordon played with a girl from Chicago who was in the Barefoot Wine National Championships at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee. Speaking of the Barefoot tourney, there were a ton of teams in The Motherlode who had also played Barefoot. Shane and another Men's B player played. Casey Patterson played Open with Ty Loomis and Joe Hillman came down just for the party. We all supported each other and cheered each other on whenever we weren't playing.

The Motherlode drew a lot of fans as well as teams. In fact, we played in front of several hundred fans for most of our matches. All in all, The Motherlode was a great Labor Day Weekend event and trip.