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Savannah Easton Goes Undefeated at Griff’s

With the Junior International Championship going into its second season, it is becoming more and more common for fans to see its top junior players branching out from their success in the junior ranks to succeed in open events. For eleven year old Savannah Easton from Las Vegas, she might be skipping the success amongst her peers and moving full speed into open event success.

Easton outdistanced a field of thirty three other players to win the Griff’s Ladies 640 & Under Fargo 9-Ball event over the weekend of January 29th – 30th. 

Easton says she has been “hitting balls” on a pool table since she was four and her first real interest in playing the game seriously came from playing her Dad Larry on the family pool table. It was also words of encouragement from her Dad that helped prepare her for playing the event at Griff’s. “My Dad told me that if I shoot with confidence, good things will happen” she said. “I also knew that even if I lost, it would be a huge learning experience for me.”

That confidence paid off on Saturday, as Easton (Fargo 447) had wins over Val Porter and Ces Ralston, both higher rated players and both opponents that Easton defeated without the handicap she was getting. 

Easton came back on Sunday in the final eight on the winner’s side and said that while she was warming up with her Dad she started thinking about possibly making it to the finals of the event. Easton’s first two Sunday matches were against Catherine Colosia and Amani Ali. Colosia looked to have things under control against Easton, leading 4-2 in a straight race to 5, but Easton took advantage of errors by Colosia to win three straight for the win. Ali would fall 5-3 in the next match.

The hot-seat match was against Yen Huynh, who had been mowing down opponents all weekend. Huynh had allowed one opponent to get to the hill against her so far in the event, and was just coming off of an 8-1 drubbing of Janna Nelson. Easton was getting three games in the 8-5 race, but again she didn’t need the handicap as she beat Huynh 5-3 to take the hot-seat.

Easton’s opponent in the finals would be her toughest challenge yet. California’s Gigi Callejas has been a successful player on the west coast for a couple of years and has top finishes in both regional and national tours. Callejas had dropped her second match of the event to Colosia on Saturday but then forged a seven match winning streak on the one loss side. The finals would be true double elimination, but Easton would only need one set to score a hill-hill victory and celebrate the undefeated tournament win. “When I sunk that last 9-ball for the win, I couldn’t believe I actually won the whole tournament undefeated” said Easton days after her victory. “It never really sunk in until the next day because I was so tired”.

Easton has hopes to build on this success and says she hopes to become like her idol Margaret Fefilova. She credits Fefilova with helping in her early success, as well as other champions like Tyler Styer, Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann and Hunter Lombardo who helped her with her technique at the table. More importantly, Easton credits the support that she gets from her Mom and Dad on her “journey to becoming the next World Champion”.

Easton is currently sponsored by Predator, Kamui, JamUp Apparel and Bangin Ballz Billiards. Next up for Easton is the Junior International Championship stop in Cape Coral Florida next week, where she hopes to continue her success.