Some athletes want to win in any fashion possible. Skyview tennis player Sammi Hampton, on the other hand, had a very specific fashion.
“I was watching tennis on TV and they were wearing these super cute outfits,” Hampton said, recalling a memory from when she was 8. “I said, ‘I want to play that sport.’ ”
Soon enough, Sammi and her family had all taken up tennis. But seven years later, Hampton’s game is hardly superficial.
After going undefeated this year and culminating her season as the WIAA state champion, the freshman is The Columbian’s girls tennis player of the year.
Hampton’s, athletic exploits aren’t limited to the high school level.
The 15-year-old is the top-ranked junior tennis player in Washington for the 16-and-under decision and among the top 5 for the 18s. She has already qualified for a 18s national tournament later this month in Claremont, Calif., or as Hampton describes it, “a really hot place in some state.”
Even so, Hampton, who considers herself a groundstroke player who can move with speed, said high school goals were equally important to her.
Nobody can say she didn’t fulfill them.
After storming through league play, Hampton won the district and regional finals in straight sets, then took the state championship in three.
“It was kind of my goal from the start, but it was really surprising when I actually did it,” Hampton said. “I wasn’t expecting it, I was so happy.”
• Went undefeated on the season for the Storm.
• Won the Class 4A state championship as a freshman.
• Won the Class 4A district and bi-distrit championships without dropping a set.
More about Sammi
• Prides herself on her baking skills, claiming chocolate-chip cookies, snickerdoodles and cupcakes.
• Favorite movie is "The Hunger Games" -- a story she enjoyed in book form as well.
• Favorite kind of music is country...but responded with a vehement "no" when asked if she could line dance.
Next year and beyond
• Hoping to play well in junior tennis over the summer and eventually earn a college scholarship.
"It was kind of my goal from the start, but it was really surprising when I actually did it. I wasn't expecting it. I was so happy."
On winning the state singles championship
Rest of All-Region team
- Akari Baba, fr., Prairie: Teamed up with sister to win 3A doubles state championship.
- Shiori Baba, sr., Prairie: Teamed up with sister to win 3A doubles state championship.
- Esther Kwon. fr., Camas: Placed eighth in Class 3A singles state tournament.
- Julie Piboonvaranggoon, sr., Columbia River: Ex-singles player played doubles at 3A state.
- Kylee Tyler-Breimon, so., Battle Ground: Placed fifth in 4A singles state tournament.
- Jelena Vidovic, so., Union: Placed sixth in 4A singles state tournament.