Steamboat Springs The actors in the drama may have been young, but there was nothing small about the girls final Monday at the Intermountain Tennis Association 12 and Under Memorial Day Tennis Championships at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.
It was there that Tamy Katthain and Tatum Burger waged an awesome battle, powerful point after powerful point bringing rounds of applause from their gathered friends and family. Just by advancing to the championship match they had accomplished more than nearly any other Steamboat player in the tournament. Only one had made a final in the event’s previous 19 years. On Monday, the two traded blows until finally Katthain emerged on top, winning the most recent edition of what’s been a back-and-forth series, 1-6, 6-1, 6-1.
“It was very hard playing her,” Katthain said. “She played great.”
Their personal relationship made it all the more difficult.
“We’re best friends,” Katthain said. “It was very hard.”
In the end, Katthain’s defense made the difference. Burger came up with great shots, pounding the lines and corners, but everything that wasn’t out there Katthain handled and that allowed her first to bounce back from the first-set loss, and then to start tallying wins.
She built big leads in each of the final two sets, time after time finding a way to emerge from long volleys with wins.
“After the first set, I just decided I need to play better if I was going to win,” Katthain said.
“She just keeps trying,” Burger said, summing up her friend’s best characteristic.
Ryan Boddington of Park City, Utah, won the boys championship, beating Joshua King of Englewood, 6-4, 6-4.
Monday was the final day of action in the three-day tournament that cast 32 of the best boys and 26 of the best girls from a six-state region against each other.
Steamboat had a record five entries in the event.
“For a world-class ski town, our tennis is beyond remarkable,” tournament director Jim Swiggart said.
ITA 12 and Under Memorial Day Championships
Boys 12 Singles (Final Round)
King, Joshua (1) Englewood def. Boddington, Ryan (2) Park City, UT 6-4; 6-4
Boys 12 Singles Consolation (W - Final Round)
Murray, Benjamin Englewood def. Bailey, Illijah Centennial 6-1; 6-1
Boys 12 Singles (N - Final Round)
Kijak, David Aurora def. Owen, Redd Sandy, UT 6-4; 6-2
Boys 12 Singles (S - Final Round)
Hawk, Henry Boulder def. Svichar, Nicholas Greenwood Village 6-3; 6-1
Boys 12 Singles (NW - Final Round)
Snyder, Hayden Steamboat Springs def. Burger, Teague Steamboat Springs 7-5; 6-2
Boys 12 Singles (NE - Final Round)
Moldenhauer, Jack (6) Denver def. andrus, brigham (8) Highland, UT 7-6(4)); 6-2
Boys 12 Singles (SW - Final Round)
Hunsinger, James Fort Collins def. Kempema, Jakob North Salt Lake, UT 7-5; 6-4
Boys 12 Singles (SE - Final Round)
Hartman, Kyler Idaho Falls, ID def. Paddor, Tyler Centennial 6-1; 6-1
Boys 12 Singles (Playoff)
Melville, Tom (3) Boulder def. Johnson, Mitchell (4) Cherry Hills Village 6-2; 6-2
Girls 12 Singles (Final Round)
Katthain, Tamara (3) Steamboat Springs def. Burger, Tatum (6) Steamboat Springs 1-6; 6-1; 6-1
Girls 12 Singles Consolation (W - Final Round)
Cheong, Naomi (8) Las Vegas, NV def. Bronsdon, Natalie Highlands Ranch 1-6; 6-4; 6-4
Girls 12 Singles (N - Final Round)
Handler, Micha Englewood def. Murphy, Allison Centennial 6-2; 6-0
Girls 12 Singles (S - Final Round)
Cerone, Noelle Steamboat Springs def. Graber, Shelby Parker 6-0; 6-4
Girls 12 Singles (NW - Final Round)
Edwards, Mavis (7) Bayfield def. Sepulveda, Addison Draper, UT 7-5; 6-1
Girls 12 Singles (NE - Final Round)
Castelino, Seraphin (4) Superior def. Strande, Emily (5) Centennial 6-3; 6-2
Girls 12 Singles (SW - Final Round)
Untermeyer, Emily Denver def. Chowdhury, Meghna Highlands Ranch 6-2; 6-1
Girls 12 Singles (Playoff)
County, Annaliese Highland, UT def. Turley, Mackenzie Kaysville, UT 6-4; 6-1
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com