Martinez: Clark County tennis represents well at state

Tim Martinez: High school sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

Published:

 

The great thing about most spring high school sports ending on the same weekend is that you're pretty much assured of a big story.

The drawback of having most of spring sports ending on the same weekend is often you have too many front-page stories and not enough front page.

That's kind of what happened to the stellar finish to the high school tennis season.

Clark County brought home two state championships from the Tri-Cities in tennis — Skyview's Sammi Hampton in the 4A girls singles and Prairie's Akari and Shiori Baba in the 3A girls doubles.

And that's only half the story. Of the eight state-title matches in the Class 4A and 3A event (boys and girls, singles and doubles), four involved Clark County players.

Skyview's Kent Andreasen was the 4A boys singles runner-up, while Union's Mark Bright and Connor Horne placed second in 4A boys doubles.

But there's still more to the story. Four more county players took home medals from state — Battle Ground's Kylee Tyler-Breimon (fourth in 4A girls singles), Union's Jelena Vidovic (sixth in 4A girls singles), Camas' Esther Kwon (eighth in the 3A girls singles) and Hockinson's Michelle Chiou (fourth in 2A girls singles).

The only thing that could have made for a better weekend for Clark County tennis players was if one of these state tournaments were played in Clark County.

"We've got some great tennis players here," Prairie coach Chris Linquist said. "And some of us are really blessed to get to go along for the ride."

And county players shared in the success.

"When we get to the postseason, all of the Southwest Washington players are looking out for each other," Skyview coach Mark Ray said. "We played a little ultimate frisbee with the Union team yesterday. And we've been hanging out with the Battle Ground team at state, yelling for our erstwhile opponents."

And there was a lot to yell about. And there may continue to be a lot to yell about in the future.

While most of the standouts in the boys tournaments were seniors, the girls brackets were filled with young players.

Hampton, Akari Baba and Kwon are freshmen. Vidovic and Tyler-Breimon are sophomores.

• • •

With the end of the 2011-12 high school sports season, I thought it would be worthwhile to look back at the state champions from Clark County (even though there's always the risk of leaving someone out).

Team state champions included:

• Camas girls cross country (3A).

• Battle Ground girls bowling (4A).

• Prairie girls basketball (3A).

• Skyview girls basketball (4A).

• Skyview boys soccer (4A).

Individual state champions (in addition to the aforementioned tennis players) were:

• Julia Sanders, Hockinson girls swimming, in the 2A 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

• Monica Bottelberghe, Columbia River girls swimming in the 3A 200 freestyle.

• Wylicia Faley, Battle Ground bowling at 4A.

• Michael Nguyen, Evergreen wrestling, at 4A 113 pounds.

• Matthew Nguyen, Evergreen wrestling, at 4A 120 pounds.

• Stephanie Simon, Evergreen wrestling, at girls 145 pounds.

• Britni Atwell, Heritage gymnastics, at 4A vault and floor.

• Jazmin Harris, Union gymnastics, at 4A beam.

• Jennifer DeBellis, Columbia River gymnastics, at 3A bars.

• Jameson Shirley, Skyview boys track and field, at 4A pole vault.

• Lucy Defilippis, Seton Catholic girls track and field, at 1B 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

• Sean Keller, Heritage boys track and field, at 4A javelin.

• Alexis Fuller, Union girls track and field, at 3A 800 meters.

• Taylor Barrus, Skyview girls track and field, at 4A javelin.

• Jennifer DeBellis (again), Columbia River girls track and field, at 3A pole vault.

And I think I would be remiss to exclude some top-five finishes by athletes in sports in which only one individual state champion is crowned per classification, like:

• Union's Alexis Fuller, who was second in 4A girls cross country.

• Camas' Alexa Efraimson, who was third in 3A girls cross country.

• Heritage's Amanda Van Meter, who was second in 4A girls bowling.

• Union's Alistair Docherty, who was fifth in 4A boys golf.

• Mountain View's Taylor Smith, who was fourth in 3A boys golf.

Congratulations to all. Apologies to anyone I omitted. It's been a great year, and a busy weekend.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com