Busy tennis season set to begin

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There will be 48 players in this week's 2004 Intermountain Tennis Association's 12 and under Memorial Day championships.

Jim Swiggart, director of the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, is sure that the players on the court this weekend represent the future of the sport in Colorado and across the region.

"This is the tenth year we've hosted this event," Swiggart said. "Every year, I recognize many of the names at the top of the results at the state tennis championships because they've played here in Steamboat at this tournament."

The tournament, which includes players from a six-state region, will bring the best tennis players 12 and younger to Steamboat Springs this weekend.

Play begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday on the Center's clay courts. The hard courts will be open for public play this weekend. The tournament is scheduled to run through Monday at 12:30 p.m.

"Players will come from as far away as Idaho for this one," Swiggart said. "This one is special because it's not just the top-six players in a six state region, but because they are the youngest. They represent the future in our region."

Three Steamboat players will take to the courts this weekend, including 9-year-old Jamey Swiggart, 10-year-old Brett Gordan and 12-year-old Kylee Swiggart.

The event will be the first of seven major tennis tournaments for the summer at the Tennis Center.

Among the tournaments scheduled at the center will be regional events such as the Intermountain Division Senior Sectional, and the NTRP Championships.

The Center also will host local tournaments such as the Steamboat Tennis Association's Old West Mixed Doubles, Ore House Singles and Doubles Championships and two City Championships.

"There is going to be a lot of activity here this weekend," Swiggart said. "It's going to be a busy summer."

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com.

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