SOCORRO, N.M., July 17, 2009  – New Mexico Tech student Chris Aitken is competing in a national billiards tournament, the 2009 9-Ball Championships, held in Normal, Ill., on July 21 – 23. Chris is a senior computer science major at the science and engineering research university.

Aitken is the son of John and Jean Aitken of Meeker, Colorado

Aitken will be posting reports on his progress to his Facebook page during the event. His fans should check http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=110000987 to follow his activities.

Aitken qualified for the tournament by participating in a qualifying tournament in New Mexico Tech’s game room in the fall of 2008. He then placed sixth in the regional tournament which was held in Utah in February.

Aitken is a member of New Mexico Tech’s Billy Aards Club, which specializes in billiards and related games. New Mexico Tech has been participating in tournaments held by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) since the spring of 2001.

Ray Piworunas, who was advisor to the Billy Aards Club until last year, had this advice to offer Chris: “A prime focus would be staying calm so the thinking and execution doesn't lock-up or stutter. His tournament experience in other disciplines could be a plus.”

Tech’s Office of Auxiliary Services pays travel and tournament fees for Tech students to attend the competition. and then in a regional qualifier in Utah in February.

Aitken commented, “I am thrilled that my hard work in the Game Room has allowed me to play at this level. I am grateful for the support of the school, and all of my friends, without their help I could not have gotten this far.”

Qualifiers for the next ACUI tournament will be held in the Tech game room in November 2009.

-NMT-

(Kathleen Hedges)