Motivation pays off for tennis player


— On Tuesday Steamboat Springs tennis player Kimberly Heckbert was still recovering from a busy weekend.

The Steamboat Springs High School junior had just returned from Wyoming, where she collected the title in the girls 16- year-old division at the Governor's Cup, which was played in Cheyenne. She also placed fifth in the girls 18-year-old division at the same tournament.

"It was hectic," Heckbert said of trying to play in dual age divisions at the event.

Heckbert topped Nebraska player Brook Carpenter in a rough three-set match to earn the title in the younger division.

Heckbert jumped out to an early advantage, taking the first set 6-2, but the local player got off to a slower start in the second set of the match.

Carpenter took a 5-2 advantage in that set and then held off Heckbert's rally in the final few points to win 7-5.

"I took it a little too lightly after winning the first set," Heckbert said. "It made me mad, so I wanted to make sure that didn't happen again."

Heckbert's motivation paid off in the final set of the match as she cruised to a 6-0 victory and grabbed the title at the tournament.

Heckbert was one of four local players who went to Wyoming for the June 29-July 2 tournament.

Other top finishes at the event included Carter Allen, who took second in the boys 18 division. His only loss of the weekend came to Eli Korber of Alliance, Neb.

Local doubles players Walker Pruett and David Upbin also made the trip.

That squad swept the boys 18 division to earn another title. Pruett was also third in the boys 18 singles division.

Heckbert said the group is not traveling as a team at this point. They all decided that this tournament sounded like fun and made an individual choice to go to it.

"It's pretty individual at this point of the season," Heckbert said. "I like playing in these summer tournaments because I know it will make me a better high school player next year."


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