Mishel Levinski Wins U2500; Austin Preiss Surprise U2400, U2300 Champion
by Barbara Wei
Play concluded at the 2016 Butterfly Arnold Table Tennis Challenge on the third day of competition with the U2500 event, where Mishel Levinski avenged his Open Singles quarter-final exit by winning the event in style. Dropping only 2 games en-route to the championship title, Mishel dominated the competition with his heavy serves and powerful attacks. Players struggled to receive serves with enough control to prevent either a quick backhand loop or a devastating forehand attack, giving Mishel a distinct advantage over his opponents throughout the event.
Austin Preiss (2284) was unstoppable throughout the competition, causing upset after upset to win the U2300, U2400, and make the quarterfinals of the U2500 events. In the U2300 event, Austin dropped only 1 game until the final where he succeeded in a deuce in the fifth battle against second seeded Artur Kurek (2279). With one title already under his belt, Austin then caused a series of upsets in the U2400 event. He succeeded against his Lindenwood University teammates (Alex Legaria (2368), Gabriel Skolnick (2419), Ahmed Hendawi (2370)) and a very hot Alexander Bu (2331) before clinching his second title of the day. In the U2500 event, Austin again surprised by beating Milton Garcia (2497) in his round robin group before falling to fellow Lindenwood teammate Micaiah Skolnick (2308) in the quarterfinals. Austin’s impressive play at the 2016 Butterfly Arnold Table Tennis Challenge has him returning to school with 2 titles and more than $500 in prize money.
Over 300 players from across the country competed at this year’s Butterfly Arnold Table Tennis Challenge, with a record turnout in both the elite and recreational events. Competitors from across the US traveled to participate in the event, with prominent representation from Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy, Maryland Table Tennis Center (MDTTC), Atlanta International Table Tennis Academy (AITTA), Westchester Table Tennis Center, New York Indoor Sports Club (NYISC), Mississippi College and Lindenwood University. In 2017, The Butterfly Arnold Table Tennis Challenge hopes to grow even bigger and better, with the goal of attracting more players of all levels and abilities to the unique and exciting event.