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Petaluma teen to compete for racquetball title
Petaluma teen, partner won 16-and-under doubles to qualify for championship

Petaluma teen Sawyer Lloyd is bound for November's Junior World Racquetball Championships after he and his Colorado-based doubles partner won the 16-and-under division at the National Junior Olympic Racquetball Championships in Fullerton.

Lloyd and Adam Manilla of Centennial, Colo., were the top seed and emerged from a field of nine pairs who qualified for last month's tournament, which ended June 24.

The duo also won nationals playing together two years ago and took second at worlds.

Lloyd said the two highly ranked players met and started playing together "through reputation."

The Petaluma player traveled to Colorado to train with Manilla for four days leading up to this year's nationals.

Lloyd finished third in the boys singles event, losing to Manilla, the eventual champion, in the semifinals.

He said he took up the sport about six years ago at Petaluma Valley Athletic Club as a way to stay active between baseball seasons.

"I ended up not playing baseball again after I started playing racquetball," he said.

In addition to racquetball, Lloyd plays soccer and basketball at Santa Rosa's Summerfield Waldorf, where he'll be a senior in the fall.

Eric Wittmershaus is The Press Democrat's online sports editor. You can reach him at 521-5433 or eric.wittmershaus@pressdemocrat.com.

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