Portions courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
AMHERST, Mass -- Harvard sophomore Ali Farag defeated Columbia freshman Ramit Tandon 12-10, 11-8, 11-4 to win the 2012 Pool Trophy and the College Squash Association (CSA) men's individual national title.
Farag went a perfect 15-0 playing at No. 1 for Harvard, capturing the Crimson's 34th individual national squash title. In Columbia's second year as a varsity program, Tandon came into the title match undefeated and was playing for the Lions' first-ever national squash individual or team title.
Farag and Tandon, who had not met during the 2011-12 season, played a tight first game to open the match. The game was tied at three, four, nine and ten before Farag finished off Tandon with the final two points to win, 12-10. The initial game was Farag's closest of the three-day tournament, as he had swept the previous four matches without needing extra points.
The second game started just as close as the first, as the score was knotted at eight. Farag proceeded to take the next three points, including strokes in the final two rallies, to win, 11-8 and build a 2-0 lead in the match.
With control of the match, Farag used his momentum to put away Tandon with ease. Harvard's sophomore started the third game with an 8-1 lead and eventually finished the match, 11-4, and the match, 3-0, to give Farag the national championship.
The title was Farag's first in his first season of college squash. Harvard players have won 34th Pool Trophies, which are awarded to the nation's individual champion. Colin West, who was crowned in his senior season, had been the Crimson's last championship winner.