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Rooney: Centaurus tennis invite to give Hartline solid early test

A year ago, Keller Hartline became the first Centaurus boys tennis player to qualify for the state finals in 19 years. This year the senior has his sights set even higher, and Hartline’s quest to place at state could take a solid step forward this weekend.

Beginning Friday, Hartline and his teammates welcome seven other schools to the field in the annual Centaurus Invitational. For Hartline at No. 1 singles, the weekend will mark his first big tournament-style test of the high school season.

“That’s why we host this tournament as early as we do,” Centaurus coach Julie Daniel said. “It gives all the coaches an opportunity to see how players are progressing and where they’re at at this point of the season, and we can make adjustments to the lineups if we feel it’s needed.

“Plus, you can keep an eye on some competition we don’t get to see in duals, but we’ll see in regionals. We don’t see Skyline or Peak to Peak or Dawson in duals, but we’ll see them at regionals.”

In addition to local squads Skyline, Peak to Peak, and Dawson School, the remainder of the field will be made up by players from Arvada West, Wheat Ridge, Golden and D’Evelyn.

Opening rounds begin Friday, with the finals slated for Saturday morning by 9 a.m. All singles finals will be played at Centaurus, with early rounds and the doubles finals also squaring off at nearby Whitetail Park and LaMont Does Park.

Weather permitting, the tournament is slated to begin 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

Follow Pat on Twitter: twitter.com/prooney07