Gardner Lawrence High’s boys tennis team earned Class 6A regional runner-up honors on Monday at Gardner-Edgerton, and six city athletes qualified for state.
Junior Thomas Irick led the way for LHS, placing second in singles play. Irick lost just one game in his first two matches before surrendering the first set to Topeka High’s Kris Snyder in the semifinals. Irick bounced back with 6-2 and 6-0 sets to advance to the finals against Olathe North’s Austin Crist, but Crist won the regional championship in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
“He had a rough day and ran out of gas in the finals,” LHS coach Chris Marshall said. “I was pleased with the way Thomas played ... second place in regional qualifying for state is excellent.”
Lions doubles partners Austin Abbott and Christoph Brandt took sixth place for another qualifying spot, and the Lions totaled eight points at the regional.
“The regional was pretty tough, so I was shocked when they told us we were the runner-up,” Marshall said.
Olathe Northwest, with 17 points, easily won the regional championship. Free State (seven points) tied for third in the team standings with Olathe North and Olathe South.
Free State senior Josh Saathoff took fifth place in singles to qualify for state, and FSHS doubles partners Miles Stevens and Brandon Juracek also moved on with a fifth-place finish.
All three are first-time state qualifiers.
“While the goal was for everyone on the team to qualify for state, qualifying half of our team was a great accomplishment,” FSHS coach Oather Strawderman said. “ ... We are going to work hard this week in practice, with the goal of everyone making it to the second day of state.”
The 6A state tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at Kossover Tennis Center in Topeka.
Monday at Gardner-Edgerton
Team scores: 1. Olathe Northwest 17; 2. Lawrence High 8; T3. Free State 7; T3. Olathe North 7; T3. Olathe South 7; 6. Topeka High 6; 7. Gardner-Edgerton 5; 8. Olathe East 1.
Free State results
Josh Saathoff (fifth place, qualified for state) def. Oliver Gallego, OS, 6-4, 6-3; lost to Austin Crist, ON, 1-6, 0-6; def. Jake Byrd, OE, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0; def. Lee Fitchett, ONW, 6-0, 6-2.
Richard Lu (did not qualify) def. Thomas Smithey, OS, 6-0, 6-0; lost to Kris Snyder, THS, 2-6, 1-6; lost to Lee Fitchett, ONW, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (4-7).
Miles Stevens-Brandon Juracek (fifth place, qualified for state) def. Ellicott-Prabhushankar, ON, 6-0, 6-0; lost to Unruh-Connley, ONW, 6-4, 1-6, (7-10); def. Gernon-Joens, THS, 7-5, 6-2; def. Abbott-Brandt, LHS, 6-4, 6-3.
Brady Clements-Antonio Schoneich (did not qualify) lost to Hicks-Erickson, OS, 4-6, 6-0, (8-10).
Lawrence High results
Elliott Abromeit (did not qualify) lost to Thompson Tong, ONW, 6-1, 6-0.
Thomas Irick (second place, qualified for state) def. Josh Henderson, THS, 6-0, 6-0; def. Lee Fichett, ONW, 6-0, 6-1; def. Kris Snyder, THS, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0; lost to Austin Crist, ON, 6-3, 6-3.
Kley Bolivar-Adam Eudaly (did not qualify) lost to Edwards-Petty, OS, 6-1, 6-1.
Austin Abbott-Christoph Brandt (sixth place, qualified for state) def. Gonzales-Snyder, THS, 6-3,6-3; lost to Meek-VanVleet, GE, 6-1, 6-4; def. Hicks-Ericsson, OS, 6-4, 7-5; lost to Juracek-Stevens, FSHS, 6-4, 6-3.