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Weber State University student athlete Charles Barker earned second-place honors earlier this month after competing in the 72nd Collegiate Pocket Billiards National Championship at Indiana University’s IMU Back Alley from June 29 to July 1, 2012.
Barker is a senior this year at WSU and is studying in the engineering and psychology programs. He graduated from Weber High School.
“I’m ecstatic to have finally performed well in this tournament, and getting second place is really motivating me to increase my efforts for next year,” Barker said concerning his performance. “As far as practice is concerned, I’m very fortunate that WSU has some of the best tables in the state.”
The Association of College Unions International presented the event. The nine-ball tournament had an overall registration of 41 male players and 23 female players, which gave the 2012 championship tournament the largest registration and participation in the 75-year history of the ACUI Pocket Billiards program.
During competition in the tournament, Barker won his first three matches with victories over Cody Terry (University of North Carolina-Charlotte) with a score of 8-3, Thomas Smith (James Madison University) with another score of 8-3, and a victory over defending champion Raymond Linares (Miami Dade College, Kendall campus) with an 8-6 final score. However, he lost to Bo Jin (Purdue University) with a score of 5-8.
“The strength of the competition was very impressive,” Barker said. “I did not see a single player that didn’t deserve to compete there. With such a tough field, I was fortunate to have found an edge with my consistency and break shots. Otherwise, it was any man’s game.”
Playing on the one-loss side, Barker defeated Harrell (8-3), Stephen Skvarka (Virginia Tech, 8-7), and Jin (8-3) to advance to the finals to face Matt Shilinski (University of Maryland University College). Shilinski came out with a very close win with a score of 8-7 after a double elimination playoff match to leave with the 2012 national title.
Barker is a three-time nationals contestant for pocket billiards.