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Boys tennis: Monarch sending two to 5A third-place state tournament matches

Broomfield, Centaurus, Fairview and Boulder all earn wins

  • Monarch's Callum Conaghan returns a serve from Ralston Valley's Calder...

    Monarch's Callum Conaghan returns a serve from Ralston Valley's Calder Hardin during his No. 2 singles match at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Monarch's Jackson DeAndre competes in his No. 3 doubles match...

    Monarch's Jackson DeAndre competes in his No. 3 doubles match against Arapahoe at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Fairview's Theo Myers competes in his No. 3 doubles match...

    Fairview's Theo Myers competes in his No. 3 doubles match against Fruita Monument at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Fairview's Loic Masters competes in his No. 3 doubles match...

    Fairview's Loic Masters competes in his No. 3 doubles match against Fruita Monument at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Monarch's Jackon DeAndre (headband) and Troy Gomez compete in their...

    Monarch's Jackon DeAndre (headband) and Troy Gomez compete in their No. 3 doubles match against Arapahoe at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Monarch's Luke Jensen competes in his No. 1 singles state...

    Monarch's Luke Jensen competes in his No. 1 singles state tournament match against Grandview's Eduard Tsaturyan at City Park in Denver on Friday morning.

  • Monarch's Luke Jensen competes in his No. 1 singles match...

    Monarch's Luke Jensen competes in his No. 1 singles match against Grandview's Eduard Tsaturyan at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Fairview's Jake Boston competes in his No. 2 doubles match...

    Fairview's Jake Boston competes in his No. 2 doubles match against Grandview at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Fairview's Noah Bodner competes in his No. 3 singles match...

    Fairview's Noah Bodner competes in his No. 3 singles match against Fossil Ridge's Bennet Johnson at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Boulder's Andre Parham competes in his No. 1 doubles match...

    Boulder's Andre Parham competes in his No. 1 doubles match against Arvada West at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Boulder's Chase Lewis competes in his No. 1 doubles match...

    Boulder's Chase Lewis competes in his No. 1 doubles match against Arvada West at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Broomfield's Kai Trujillo competes in his No. 1 singles match...

    Broomfield's Kai Trujillo competes in his No. 1 singles match against Chatfield's Daniel Smith at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Fairview's Charlie Gomulka competes in his No. 2 doubles match...

    Fairview's Charlie Gomulka competes in his No. 2 doubles match against Grandview at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Monarch's Troy Gomes competes in his No. 3 singles match...

    Monarch's Troy Gomes competes in his No. 3 singles match against Arapahoe at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Monarch's Callum Conaghan flips his racket in between points during...

    Monarch's Callum Conaghan flips his racket in between points during his No. 2 singles match against Ralston Valley's Calder Hardin during the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

  • Centaurus' Joey Hultgren plays in his No. 3 singles match...

    Centaurus' Joey Hultgren plays in his No. 3 singles match against Grandview's Justin Son at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

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DENVER — Callum Conaghan knew his road through the Class 5A state tennis tournament would have a few potholes, but he managed to swerve around them just fine on Friday to earn his spot in the third-place match at No. 2 singles at City Park on Saturday morning.

His campaign on Thursday began with a tough loss to the favorite to win it all, Cherry Creek’s Kiril Kostadinov, but that was the only setback he would see by the end of the day on Friday. During the second day of the three-day tournament, the Monarch senior captain systematically worked to put his two playback opponents away, first with a quick 6-0, 6-2 victory over Ralston Valley’s Calder Hardin and then with a slightly tougher 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 win over Arapahoe’s Tyler Rock.

“I’m super excited to be playing for third tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve had a great season so far, having some tough matches along the way, and I was thrilled to make it to state in the first place after a really difficult regionals, let alone playing for third. To get the wins today, I had to make sure to stay loose and play my game. When I get tight and hesitant, I struggle a lot, which is why it was important for me to stay confident and aggressive.”

Conaghan was just one of the headliners for Monarch at the 5A state competition, as senior Luke Jensen will also be playing for third at No. 1 singles on Saturday morning. He took a slightly different route than his teammate after winning his opening match against Fossil Ridge’s Tyler Van Tassell in two sets and claiming the next one over Arapahoe’s Cale Brush 6-4, 6-4 before getting shut out by Grandview’s Eduard Tsaturyan.

He brushed off the tough loss on Friday morning to bounce back and win his playback 6-3, 6-3 to earn his bid to continue playing on Saturday. He’ll face off with Valor Christian’s Christian Trevey at the same time that Conaghan will go to war with Chaparral’s Oleksandr Hodzelykh.

Garrett Winklebauer/Brodik Howe (1 doubles), Jackson DeAndre/Troy Gomes (3 doubles) and Aiden Swett/Ben Wilcutt (4 doubles) each won one match.

Fairview’s ride ends on day two with six lines in play

Fairview saw a good amount of playback action on the second day of the tournament, from No. 3 singles all the way down to No. 4 doubles. None were able to advance to their respective third-place matches on Saturday, but junior Noah Bodner (3 singles), Jake Boston/Charlie Gomulka (2 doubles), Loic Masters/Theo Myers (3 doubles) and Cecil Carrol/Ian Schwartz (4 doubles) all won at least one match.

Masters and Myers began their campaign with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Legacy’s Jared Cullison and Karsen Barnes on Thursday, but struggled against Valor before defeating Fruita Monument’s Evan Prosser and Coltan Gechter 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

“I’m really proud of me and my doubles partner Loic,” Myers, a senior, said. “We’ve had a great run, we had a win at the Grand Junction tournament, and I’m really proud of how we’ve learned and how we’ve developed our skills together. I think this is our second year playing together. We played some of my junior year together and I’m really proud of where we’ve come. I think we’ve developed a great sense of team coordination, and we’re really powerful as teammates now.”

A loss to Grandview’s Caleb Hodges and Mark Yan later in the day ended their run and Myers’ high school career, but the pair took pride in how far they’d come in just two years of partnership. The experience will only help Masters as he hopes to work his way up the ladder for the Knights next season.

“I’m pretty happy with how we played overall throughout the season,” Masters said. “We did win a lot of our matches and a lot of tough ones like Regis and Valor. Here at state, my mentality was not the greatest and we didn’t play our best but we’re still happy with our results.”

Boulder’s 1 dubs earns a win

Boulder’s No. 1 doubles pair, senior Chase Lewis and sophomore Andre Parham, started out their run playing catch-up after Cherry Creek’s Jack Eikelberner and Charles Stern put them away in two sets before rebounding with an absolute ringer over Arvada West’s Carson Kneisl and Colin Christopher.

After dropping the first battle with a 7-5 set score, they bounced back to win the war and the final two sets 6-3, 7-6.

“I’m proud of it. It was fun to be here, always, and I think we fought hard and we didn’t get the result we wanted but we played well,” Parham said. “Chase is pretty consistent, but he’s got great serves and he’s got good put-aways.”

After coming out on top in their first playback, they took Regis’ KC Eckenhausen and Liam McDonnell all the way to three sets before ending their run at 6-2, 2-6, 6-1. The match ended Lewis’ high school career, but he can walk away knowing he earned a state win at the top doubles position after moving up from 4 dubs last year.

“During the summer, I really worked on my groundstrokes and being more consistent, kind of getting the ball across the court, good crosscourt shots,” Lewis said. “I really pulled it all together at the end of the season.”

Centaurus’ Hultgren battles all the way back from injury

Centaurus junior Joey Hultgren played in just two matches — in a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Cherry Creek’s Kristian Kostadinov and a 6-0, 6-2 setback to Grandview’s Justin Son — but he overcame far too much to get there to not take pride in his accomplishments.

Following a knee surgery to repair an osteochondritis dissecans lesion, Hultgren spent a year and a half on the sidelines waiting to get back on the court. He put together a good enough season and regional performance to earn his spot at City Park in Centaurus’ first year in 5A.

“I’m proud that I could work through pain and work through all the rehab but I know that I have a lot left to prove and a lot left to do on my tennis journey,” he said. “It lets me know that it’s worth it to keep working through all the struggle. It’s worth it to just keep trying and do all the training.”

Broomfield’s Trujillo trudges through elite 1 singles competition

Broomfield junior Kai Trujillo faced a tough first match at No. 1 singles on Thursday against potential state champion Aram Izmirian from Cherry Creek and put up a good fight before falling 6-0, 6-3. He then had to face off with Chatfield’s Daniel Smith on Friday and very nearly got the better of him before ending his run with a 6-4, 6-4 loss.

Even though he came up short, Trujillo took pride in a season that saw him go 13-2 prior to the state tourney at Colorado’s most competitive line.

“Getting to state, you know that everybody’s going to be good,” he said. “These are the top 16 players in all of Colorado, so you got to know and go in with a tough mental attitude. You got to be strong. The level always gets better and better, so it’s a good thing to be here in the first place.”

Fairview's Loic Masters competes in his No. 3 doubles match against Fruita Monument at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)
Fairview’s Loic Masters competes in his No. 3 doubles match against Fruita Monument at the Class 5A state tournament at City Park in Denver on Friday morning. (By Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

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