LONGMONT — Dominant as he was from the outset of the 2017 season, Peak to Peak tennis player Teo Cariov had solidified himself among the handful of players with a legitimate shot at winning the Class 4A No. 2 singles state championship.
But now, a week before the state tournament begins, Cariov's season is over. It's not because he was beaten, either.
On Thursday at the 4A Region 5 tournament, Cariov won the No. 2 singles regional title. Shortly after collecting his medal at the Longmont Recreation Center, one of the state's top players dropped the bombshell that he would miss the state tournament because of a conflicting family travel commitment.
"We were hoping they'd have a change of heart but I guess it's not something that can be changed," Peak to Peak head coach Eric Farran said.
While it alters the state tournament field, Cariov's announcement also opens doors for a pair of Region 5's other No. 2 singles players.
With Cariov electing to scratch for the state tournament, Niwot's runner-up Riley Black, who lost 6-4, 7-5 to Caroiv in the regional finals, will assume the No. 1 seed out of Region 5. As a result of the shuffle, Longmont's Calvin Seamons also moves up from Region 5's No. 2 singles first alternate spot to a state qualifier.
"Yeah, you know, we'll take what we can get," Seamons said. "I thought I played pretty solid these past couple days and I'm happy to be going to state."
At next weekend's state tournament, Peak to Peak will still have its top gun in junior Brett Finan, who defeated Niwot's promising freshman Neil Wilcox 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 1 singles finals on Thursday and led the Pumas to a second-place team finish. The host Cougars won the Region 5 team title and qualified all 11 players for state and had Manas Saini win the No. 3 singles title, as well as claiming all four doubles title.
"We had a good tournament," Niwot head coach Miikka Keronen said. "Overall, I think everybody played up to their potential and that's all we want. We knew number one and two singles were going to be tough but both guys played well there. Our No. 3 singles has been cruising and our No. 1 doubles I think were the first ones done, so it was a really good day all around."
The Longmont Trojans placed third in the team scoring and also qualified No. 3 doubles pair Cory Byrne and Jimmy McConahy for state. At No. 2 doubles, Erie's Alex Ailey and Derek Sorenson became their school's first-ever state qualifiers, followed shortly thereafter by teammates Trevor Winterton and Nash Phillips at No. 1 doubles.
Class 4A Region 5 tournament
At Longmont Recreation Center
No. 1 singles — Brett Finian, Peak to Peak, def. Neil Wilcox, Niwot, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 2 singles — Teo Cariov, Peak to Peak, def. Riley Black, Niwot, 6-4, 7-5.
No. 3 singles — Manas Saini, Niwot, def. Ishan Kumar, Peak to Peak, 6-3, 6-0.
No. 1 doubles — Sam Keronen/Riley Mulshine, Niwot, def. Trevor Winterton/Nash Phillips, Erie, 6-0, 6-0.
No. 2 doubles — Patrick Xiao/Sam Bickham, Niwot, def. Alex Ailey/Derek Sorenson, Erie, 6-2, 6-2.
No. 3 doubles — Anton Lavrouk/Xavier, Niwot, def. Cory Byrne/Jimmy McConahy, Longmont, 6-0, 6-0.
No. 4 doubles — Jongwon Lee/Peter Lee, Niwot, def. Alexander Preston/Daniel Rui, Peak to Peak, 7-5, 6-2.
Playback matches for state berths
No. 3 singles — Ishan Kumar, Peak to Peak, def. Danny O'Brien, Longmont, 6-2, 6-4.
No. 1 doubles — Trevor Winterton/Nash Phillips, Erie, def. Myles Meskers/Ben Eyel, Centaurus, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
No. 3 doubles — Cory Byrne/Jimmy McConahy, Longmont, def. Evan Penczek/Luke Nickerson, 6-0, 7-5.
No. 4 doubles — Alexander Preston/Daniel Rui, Peak to Peak, def. Nicholas Cuccaro/Samuel Orona, Erie, 6-0, 7-6.