COLUMBUS, Ohio – Berta Queralt and Paula Pitarque, members of the Ohio State field hockey team, will participate for Spain’s Under-21 Junior National Team at the 2010 EuroHockey Junior Nations Championship July 25-31 in Lille, France. Eight European teams will compete during five days for the chance of winning the European Junior title.
The seven other junior national teams include Belarus, England, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands and Scotland. The championship takes place every two years as the top under-21 players from across the continent compete for the right to call themselves European champions.
Spain, which is sixth in the Women World Ranking, will open the championship against defending European Junior champion Germany Sunday. Following its opening match, Spain will take on Scotland Monday and Belarus Wednesday. The team finished fifth at the championships in 2008, while placing 13th at the Junior World Cup in 2009.
Queralt and Pitarque, both natives of Barcelona, will reunite as members of Spain’s junior national team. Queralt, the 2009 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was a member of the national squad in the Four Nations Under-16 tournament from 2005-07 and the Four Nations Under-18 tournament in 2008. At the Under-16 European Youth Championships, she helped the team to third place in 2004 and second place in ’07. Last season for the Buckeyes, she was tabbed a Third Team NFHCA All-America honoree, becoming the first freshman in program history to earn the distinction.
Pitarque, who will be joining the Buckeyes this fall, has helped Spain to four Top 5 finishes at European Championships at the Under-16 and Under-21 levels. At the Spanish Independent States Championships, Pitarque played for the first-place U-16 and U-21 Catalan teams.
Queralt, Pitarque and the rest of the Buckeyes open the 2010 campaign at Ohio at 3 p.m. Aug. 31 in Athens.