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USPA announces 2017 National Youth Tournament Series Championship Rosters

USPA Polo Network will livestream the semifinals and final of the National Youth Tournament Series Championship

The United States Polo Association® (USPA), the national governing body for the sport of polo is thrilled to announce the final rosters for the four zones competing in the fifth annual National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) Championship. The nation’s most promising 16 players, under 19, will gather to compete August 31- September 3 at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California.

Public semifinal games will take place on Friday, September 1 culminating in the championship for the Cecil Smith Cup on Sunday, September 3 at 3:00pm PT. Located just five miles south of Santa Barbara and 60 miles north of Los Angeles, California, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club overlooks the Pacific Ocean providing a picturesque backdrop to an active polo scene. For the championship final, the club will revive the tailgating tradition, inviting guests to come early, set up a tailgate and picnic. Tickets are now available and can be purchased at www.sbpolo.com. For fans who are unable to attend the games in person, the USPA Polo Network will livestream the matches on uspolo.org.

Zone 1
Representing the Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Coast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern and Border Circuits.

  • Conrad Kissling (Topanga, California)
  • Jake Klentner (Santa Barbara, California)
  • Sloan Stefanakis (Houston, Texas)
  • Harrison Azzaro (Floresville, Texas)

Zone 2
Representing the Central, Great Plains, Midstates and Southeastern Circuits.

  • Mich Ward (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Jack McLean (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania)
  • Harry Caldwell (Fayettesville, Tennessee)
  • Carlos Font (Chicago, Illinois)

Zone 3

Representing the Florida Circuit

  • Nico Escobar (Wellington, Florida)
  • Lucas Escobar (Wellington, Florida)
  • Mackenzie Weisz (Wellington, Florida)
  • Justin Daniels (Wellington, Florida)

Zone 4

Representing the Eastern and Northeastern Circuits.

  • Tenzin Tognini (Middleburg, Virginia)
  • Liam Lott (Loxahatchee, Florida)
  • Will Green (Reisterstown, Maryland)
  • Brennan Wells (Freeland, Maryland)

NYTS is the first national outdoor tournament series for youth competitors—providing opportunities to compete against their peers. Allowing youth players the opportunity to compete on a big stage is a unique and crucial step in developing a young player. The NYTS season runs from March 1 through August 1, and the championship is held over Labor Day weekend.

At each qualifier, NYTS All-Stars are named for their exceptional horsemanship, sportsmanship and skill, both on and off the field. Players nominated as All-Stars are eligible for selection in their respective zones at the National Championship for the Cecil Smith Cup.

“Santa Barbara is the perfect spot to host the fifth National Youth Tournament Series Championship,” said Chrys Beal, NYTS and Junior Polo Committee Chairman. “The club members, staff and facilities are among the best in the world. All of us involved in this event for our young polo players are looking forward to a successful tournament!”

Four teams will once again take to the field to compete for the most prestigious youth outdoor polo title. Defending champions Zone 3 are back with newest members Mackenzie Weisz and Lucas Escobar. This year’s Zone 3 is a family affair, with the Escobar duo of brothers Nico and Lucas.

Both Zone 1 and Zone 2 feature numerous NYTS veterans with the inclusion of newcomers Harrison Azzaro (Zone 1) and Canadian Mich Ward (Zone 2).  Zone 4 on the other hand boasts a roster of four new faces who will travel to California to represent the Northeastern and Eastern Circuit.

New this year is the addition of the East vs. West Challenge, created to represent a wider range of All-Stars selected at qualifying events. The maximum handicap for East vs. West Challenge competitors is A.5 and two female players must play on each team.

Players will have the opportunity for one coached practice match before the featured East vs. West Challenge which will take place before the National Youth Tournament Series Championship Final. Maddie Grant (Phoenix, Maryland), Malia Bryan (Aiken, South Carolina), Joseph Post (Newburgh, New York) and Landen Daniels (Wellington, Florida) will represent the East. The West team will be comprised of Bayne Bossom (Glendale, California), Cory Williams (Montecito, California), Athena Malin (Palm Desert, California) and Grayson Price (Houston, Texas).

For more information on NYTS, please visit www.uspolo.org or contact Amanda Snow at asnow@uspolo.org.

About the United States Polo Association®

The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts.

Founded in 1890, the United States Polo Association (USPA) is the national governing body for the sport of polo. USPA is currently comprised of almost 300 member clubs with thousands of individual members, and oversees 40 national tournaments. For more information, please visit uspolo.org.

About the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club
The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the premier destination for polo on the West Coast. Located on the beautiful American Riviera, the Club offers three high goal fields, a Polo School, boarding facilities, polo lessons and country club amenities, including eight tennis courts and a fitness facility, all alongside the Pacific Ocean. The 2017 season opened May 5th and runs through the first week of October. For more information about the Club and to purchase tickets please visit www.sbpolo.com.

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