Runningen, Hilla, and Gunia Advance at the Shooting Star Classic


By Samm Diep,

On Friday, September 4th, 2009, the inaugural Shooting Star Classic 8-Ball Tournament kicked off with a 64-player Scotch Doubles event on Friday event. All were welcome to play and they did. Scotch teams saw the likes of former touring professional Jimmy Wetch and multiple masters champ Mario Parayno as a team. With the field dwindled to the final 12 players, still undefeated are Iowa’s finest Jerrod Frideres and Dustin Gunia versus Minnesota’s bad boys Beau Runningen and Tony Hilla.

The 128-player Men’s Open field was underway by noon on Saturday and saw a 12 player waitlist, most of who either got in or played in the Masters. Some notable players were Midwest young gun Chase Plumley, Chicago’s Shannon Schroeder fighting his way back from the B-side, and Canadian rock stars Andrew Thomas, Joe Kluka, and Blair Lawson. Taking advantage of the Labor Day long weekend, the Men’s Open division will wrap up Monday afternoon.

Tony Hilla and Jesse Engel

Tony Hilla and Jesse Engel

In the Women’s Open, Midwest BCA women’s open champ Veronica Lyon from Wisconsin is still undefeated, along with Longoni Cue’s Kara Ceschini of Calgary, Alberta, and Fargo’s fav Sam Matuska. Of the 44 Men’s Masters players, only 13 remain. 2008 BCA 9-Ball Challenge runner-up Demetrius Jelatis remains East, awaiting the winner of Broadway Billiards’ Marc Oelslager and Jerrod Spence from Winnipeg. Coming from the West are 3-cushion phenom “Fast Freddy” Lamers, Lee Heuwagen, and Josh Burbul who will face Wetch. In the Women’s Masters division, veteran Jeri Bouvette of East Grand Forks will meet Qlympics ladies champ Jacqui Herrerra-Schroeder of Chicago for the driver’s seat.

With support from their sponsors, tournament directors, Samm Diep and Mike Fieldhammer were able to provide coin-free play on pro-cut 7’ Diamond Smart Tables for the entire weekend for only a $10 greens fee.

Event Sponsors: Shooting Star Classic, Tiger Products, Delta-13 Rack, Peters Billiards,, Predator Group, and Simonis Cloth.

Visit for tournament updates, online brackets (provided by Bad Boy Productions), and live streaming.