Mesa State player wins city tennis title

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— John Aragon Jr. grew up on the tennis courts at the Steamboat Springs Tennis Center before leaving to attend Mesa State College in Grand Junction three years ago.

Last weekend he returned home and won his first city singles title at the 2003 Steamboat City Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships. It was one of two titles he won during the weekend -- he also teamed up with another former Steamboat player, Rich Tifft, to win the 5.0-level doubles division.

"I expected to do well," Aragon said.

The former Steamboat Springs High school standout is the No. 1 singles player at Mesa State. Last weekend, he came back to Steamboat with several of his teammates for the annual city championships.

"I haven't played in a tournament here in Steamboat for three years," Aragon said. "But a bunch of us decided to come to Steamboat and play in this one."

Aragon downed Matt Tyler, a Mesa State graduate, in the finals 7-6, 6-1.

Aragon said the first set was pretty tight, but he played better in the second and secured the win. He said his toughest match of the tournament came in the semifinals against his doubles partner, Tifft.

Aragon teamed up with Tifft to down Tyler and his dad, Steve Tyler, in the finals of the 5.0 doubles.

Other winners included Dylan Roberts in the 3.5 singles, Paul Hughes in the 4.0 singles and Dave Schaller in the 4.5 singles.

Don Lathrop and Galen Redinbo took home the title in the 3.5 doubles, Brad Fry and Terry Stokes collected the 4.0 crown and Scott Campbell and Steve Donaldson earned the 4.5 title.

On the women's side, Emily Hydrick took the title in a round-robin format in the 5.0 division. Wanda Brehmer won the 4.5 singles title, Janet Zacher won the 4.0, and Karen Dodson collected the 3.5 singles title. Jordan Bernard defeated Jamey Swiggart for the 3.0 title.

The doubles titles went to Laurie Buelow and Adelia Redalen in the 4.5 division, Debbie Aragon and Carolyn Nickum in the 4.0 division, and Deb Champlin and Jo Ann Lathrop in the 3.5 division.

"This year's tournament was especially exciting due to the participation of six of Mesa State University men's tennis team players and three of it's women's players," said Jim Swiggart, tournament director. "Seeing that level of tennis at the center was enjoyable for everyone."

This year's city championships were the largest with 104 players.

Many of the Mesa State players who returned, including Aragon and Tifft, are former members of the Steamboat Springs High School program and former participants in the center's Junior Tennis Academy.

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