The exhibition game is free and open to the public
U.S. squash national champion, Chris Hanson will face Dartmouth College senior, Carson Spahr on Saturday, April 13 at 4:30 pm. While the exhibition game is free to the public, it is the culmination of a day-long tournament to support the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
This is Hanson’s second year participating in the SQUASH Cancer Tournament. “It’s a great event for a great cause,” he says.
For Hanson, the cause is personal. When he was in middle school, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the disease entered remission, Hanson’s mother actively supported breast cancer research. Although Hanson had frequently joined his mother at fundraising events, he adopted the cause as his own while he was an undergraduate at Dartmouth College. In a month-long challenge that he called Miles for Moms, Hanson ran 175 miles to raise money for cancer research.
Since graduating in 2013, Hanson has played squash professionally. He won the U.S. National Championship for squash in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, he has competed at the PSA World Tour where he achieved a career high of 60th in the world.
Although his schedule involves many hours of traveling, Hanson readily agreed to participate in last year’s SQUASH Cancer Tournament. Hanson enjoyed the event so much that during the post-match celebration he volunteered for this year’s tournament.
“Last year was awesome,” Hanson recalls. “I played the number-one player on Dartmouth’s team, and we had a great match.”
This year, Hanson will play Spahr, the captain of Dartmouth varsity squash team. The game will be held in the center court at Dartmouth College’s Berry Sports Center, a glass court with stadium seating. The event promises to showcase the players’ athletic prowess and skill.
“It’s as good of a match as you will see,” says Jonathan Masland, the chair of the SQUASH Cancer organizing board. He and the other volunteer board members organized the exhibition game.
Masland looks forward to watching the players agilely navigate the court and their opponent. In squash, points take longer to score than in tennis, allowing spectators many opportunities to observe how fit and fast the players are.
The exhibition game is the finale of the second-annual SQUASH Cancer Tournament, but spectators do not need to participate in the tournament to watch the game. Those who do compete have the option of playing against Hanson during Play with a Pro at 12:30 pm. Masland remembers these friendly matches as exciting and fun.
“Chris is game for anything,” Masland says. “He did a great job of running people around or letting them win. It was a treat. He’s a very good player.”