Crownsville's Jason Hill recently captured third place in the 18-and-under division at the Billiard Congress of America's National Junior Eight-ball Championships in Kansas City, Mo.
The 15-year-old Hill earned a berth in the national championships by defeating defending national champion Michael Coltrain in a qualifier in June at the Brass Tap and Billiards in Raleigh, N.C.
Hill battled his way from the losers' bracket in Raleigh and defeated Coltrain, 6-3, 6-5, to advance to the nationals.
Hill's third-place finish in the 32-player field in Kansas City qualifies him to represent the United States in the 1993 World Pool-Billiards Association's World 9-Ball Championships tentatively set for next May in Paris, France.
Hill opened the national championships with four straight wins, and despite being the youngest player in the tournament, finished with a 6-2 record.
Eric Berntrand, 17, of Quebec, Canada, was Hill's first victim, 4-1. Hill defeated Phillip Ruttan Jr. of Shawnee, Kansas, in his second match, 4-1, and then defeated last year's 14-and-under champion Charles Williams of Newport News, Va., 4-1.
The sophomore at Old Mill High defeated Coltrain, 4-3, in his fourth match, before bowing to the eventual champion, 18-year-old Larry Nevel Jr. of Beloit, Wis., 4-2.
Hill rebounded to defeated 17-year-old Troy Wiley of Burlington, Iowa, and Tony Lane, 17, of Lima, Ohio, 4-2. On hand at the Bartle Hall Convention Center for Hill's matches were billiard legends Willie Mosconi and Jimmy Caras.
For his efforts, Hill was awarded a $1,500 Joss pool cue, a $1,250 scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to the World Championships.