Two Brentwood brothers (Dane and Cody Elkins) and a very close Brentwood friend (Attosa Rejaie) won gold medals and national championships at one of Racquetball's "majors" winning 4 combined gold medals at the 47 National Singles Championships in Fullerton CA held May 24-25.
Dane Elkins won the national championships in the boys 14 and 18 and under divisions for the first time (in several attempts) while younger brother Cody Elkins captured the gold in boy's 10 and under divisions. Attosa Rejaie who is Dane's Junior Olympic partner and High School Championship partner (at Palisades High School) also won first place in her girl's 14 and under.
The three very "tired" juniors played about 16 overall matches during the mostly round robin tournament against junior from all over the country and several from California.
Dane and Attosa are straight A students at Palisades High Charter School and their dream is to one day play together as a team at the college national racquetball championships and junior nationals where they hope to win a college national championships for their university.
Dane and Attosa over the years have taken many classes together starting in elementary school. Attosa started playing about 5 years ago when one day she happened to walk by the Westwood Park Rec Center during a junior tournament and was intrigued so she decided to try it out. They have been mixed doubles partners ever since. The junior's birthdays are a few weeks apart with Attosa being the older and more vocal leader.
Two years ago, their constant practice together began to pay off when Dane and Attosa took second at Junior Olympics during a tournament where Dane also made the All-American team in singles. Dane is the reigning 10-time world outdoor champion and two time USA outdoor team member. Attosa has also made the USA team twice in outdoors.
The group has had much success over the last few years and is coached by national hall of famer Debbie Tisinger Moore. They practice 4-5 times a week in between studying.
Dane recently won a national scholarship competition and a full scholarship from pro IRT racquetball and USA Racquetball to the USOC Olympic Training Center. Interestingly, racquetball is a USOC sanctioned sport. The training and hard work is starting to pay off for younger brother Cody too.
The victory at National Singles for Cody Elkins, 9, earned him a sponsorship from Ektelon Racquetball which has been a leader in the sport for 50 years. Older brother Dane has a full, paid sponsorship from Ektelon as a member of its national Team X-its pro junior development team. Attosa has also been sponsored by Ektelon since age 11 and the trio are decked out in Team gear at tournaments.
In a few weeks they are playing at junior Olympics together and Dane 15 is beginning to have some success at the pro level having beaten the 61 ranked IRT pro in a local tournament and recently winning a sacntioned pro consolation match in Fresno. At the pro stop, Dane and Attosa also played in men's elite doubles for practice one of top divisions and almost beat their surprised male competitors who asked how old the youngsters were.
Attosa's mom is the team mother and "designated driver" and says her car is wearing down from all of the miles but worth it!
We wish them continues success in Denver June 22-29 for the junior Olympics and a well deserved rest when they arrive at home.