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Despite inexperience, TMP chess teams have successful showing at meet

9/21/2012

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Unsure of what to expect from the number of junior high students participating in chess, Randy Brull was pleasantly surprised at his school's first chess meet in several years last weekend.

Brull, chess coach at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School, watched as his high school team won the overall team title and the Monarch junior high finished fourth in the 14-team field -- and first among the junior high and elementary school squads.

"To have six was nice," Brull said of TMP Junior High, in its first year of existence. "Then for them to do that well was even better."

Just as impressive, Brull said, was his high school B-team finishing third overall.

"That's what you like to see," he said. "We've got guys helping each other learn chess."

Led by the 7-8 individual finishes of juniors Jacob Brull and Ryan Hammerschmidt, who each won four of their six matches, the Monarchs scored 15 points to edge Garden City by a single point for top team honors.

All four of the other Monarchs on the varsity team also finished in the top 20, as did freshman Jacob Stark, who placed 13th overall with 3.5 points to lead the TMP B-team, which also had two others in the top 20.

The TMP junior high also had a top-20 finisher as seventh-grader Ian Lenser earned the 20th spot with three points, and classmate Tate Garcia was 22nd.

Brull also was pleased with the amount of competitors.

"I'd have been happy with 30," he said. "To have 40 was a bonus."

The overall champion was sophomore Marleah Mullen from Wichita North.