Clevinger and Atwell split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Mike Skeens, Janet Atwell and Mike Clevinger

Tour raises $1,650 for Michael Putnam and family, owners of Papertown Billiards, Asheville

Mike Clevinger and room owner/professional competitor Janet Atwell opted out of a final match at this past weekend’s (June 12-13) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, hosted by Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Clevinger claimed the official event title. The event drew 39 entrants.

In addition to the event itself, the tour organized a fund raiser to benefit Michael Putnam and his family. Michael, co-owner with his wife, Alicia, of Papertown Billiards in Asheville, NC, is currently on a ventilator, coping with complications related to COVID. The tour was able to raise $1,650 to donate to his family. Members of the pool community wishing to contribute to the ongoing campaign should reach out to Janet Atwell, a personal friend of the Putnams, who competes in a regularly scheduled Papertown Ladies Tour, run by Alicia Putnam. Atwell can be reached via the Borderline Billiards page on Facebook.

Of particular note at this most recent event was the performance of junior competitor, Hayleigh Marion, 14, who is the #7-ranked player in the 18-and-under Girls division of the ongoing series of Junior International Championships being held regularly under the auspices of On the Wire Creative Media. Marion, who is mentored and taught by Janet Atwell, signed on to compete in this event, won two matches on the winners’ side and then, five on the loss side, advancing to the quarterfinals, when she met and was defeated by Atwell. A familiar face on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Marion and Yoshiaki Kanamura competed as a doubles team on the tour last March and claimed the event title. In June 2020, Marion and Atwell played as a doubles team on the tour and finished in the tie for 5th place. 

Eventual, official winner this past weekend, Mike Clevinger advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Cowan, while Mike Skeens squared off against Janet Atwell. Clevinger sent Cowan to the loss side 6-3, while Skeens downed Atwell 5-4 (Atwell racing to 7). Clevinger claimed the hot seat in what proved to be his last match with a 6-1 victory over Skeens.

On the loss side, Cowan was the one who drew Hayleigh Marion, four matches into her loss-side streak, having most recently eliminated David Hopkins 5-3 and Reid Vance (racing to 7), 4-2. Prior to being defeated by Marion, Vance had defeated her former doubles partner, Yoshiaki Kanamura. Atwell picked up Ricky Chitwood, who’d shut out Joe Blackburn (responsible for sending Marion to the loss side) and downed Amanda Mann 6-1.

Atwell ended Chitwood’s run 7-2, as her pupil was busy eliminating Chris Cowan 4-2. Atwell then defeated her student 7-0 in the quarterfinals.

In what proved to be the last match of the event, Atwell downed Mike Skeens in the semifinals. She and Clevinger agreed to the split and Clevinger claimed the official title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank mortgage division and Diamond Brat.

The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, June 19-20, will feature two events, a 9-ball tournament and a limited-entry (16; $100 entry fee) One Pocket tournament. The events will be hosted by Railbird Billiards in Hickory, NC.