Early in the Steamboat Springs Mixed Doubles and Juniors Championships tennis tournament, played out through the weekend at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, matches were taking too long and the carefully laid out schedule fell to pieces.
That didn’t amount to much of a problem, tournament director Jim Swiggart said.
“We had a great draw, and the whole tournament was incredibly competitive,” he said. “When you get behind schedule because everyone is having a great time and the matches are all going to third sets, it’s well worthwhile.”
Kody Cassidy won in the boys intermediate-to-advanced singles bracket. Hanna Haggarty took the girls beginner-to-intermediate bracket while Katie Spencer won the girls advanced bracket.
Sara Bearss teamed with Zach Valicenti to win the mixed 8.0 doubles division. David Schaller and Elizabeth Speare won the 8.5 doubles bracket; Jennifer Holdeman and Flint Teitsworth won the 7.0 doubles bracket; and Schaller and Stacy Swiggart took the 9.0 doubles division.
“It was just terrific,” Jim Swiggart said. “Every year we see new kids coming out and playing, and we see new talent emerge. It was just an awfully fun tournament.”
He found plenty of agreement among the tournament’s players.
“It was fun,” said Shae Burger, 10, who played in the girls beginner-to-advanced bracket. “I need to practice more.”
“I felt good,” Hanna added. “I liked playing against my friends. It was fun.”
Kody Cassidy, 14, said the weekend’s diversity helped make it more fun.
“It’s fun that you get to play a whole bunch of different kind of people,” he said.
The tournament drew 78 players, which helped add to the action according to boys intermediate player Charlie Smith.
“My favorite part is that you get to meet other people and see how they play,” Smith said. “That helps so you can be ready next time you play them even if you lost this one.”
Letlow takes title at 215
Treyben Letlow led the way for the Hayden High School wrestling team as the squad faced the most difficult competition it can expect to see this side of next month’s state tournament.
Letlow won the 215-pound bracket at the prestigious Uintah Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah.
“Treyben, he had a good tournament. He really did,” Hayden coach Ty Camilletti said. “He was seeded No. 1, so he got the more favorable side of the bracket, and he took advantage.”
Letlow beat Jeff Gueck, of Utah’s Springville High School, with an 8-0 decision in the finals. That came after a 5-1 semifinal victory and pins in his first two matches of the tournament.
“He was in total control of the final match,” Camilletti said. “He was pretty determined to go down there and win it. He deserves it. He’s focused right now.”
Sophomore 112-pounder Chad Terry was Hayden’s only other wrestler to place. He was seventh.
Freshmen T-Lane Mazzola at 103 pounds and Ryan Domson at 145 fell one win short of a top-eight finish.
“We had quite a few kids who wrestled well but didn’t make it very far,” Camilletti said. “That happens over there. Many a good kid hasn’t placed at that tournament.”
The Steamboat Springs High School team also wrestled at the tournament but didn’t finish with any placers. Sailors coach Shane Yeager said Casey Williams and Grant Mader led the way for his team.
Williams, at 135 pounds, went 3-2 on the weekend while Mader, at 112, was 2-2.
“They weren’t scared of the competition,” Yeager said. “They just stepped it up and were aggressive. They just need a little more time, and we’ll get them there.”
Soroco places three
A trio of Soroco High School wrestlers placed in a weekend tournament at Eagle Valley.
David Strait was second at 140 pounds. Ben Strait finished fourth at 152 and Richard Gonzales was third at 145.
“David ended up losing to a solid kid from Hotchkiss, but he wrestled tough,” Rams coach Jay Whaley said. “He was sick and still did that well.”
Sophomore 103-pound wrestler Lauryn Bruggink lost in the semifinals but withdrew from the tournament after re-aggravating an elbow injury she first sustained during the fall’s volleyball season.
Whaley said her status for next week’s tournament at Rangely is unknown.