With Austin Putnam and Jackson Catchpole winning individual titles, the Kelly Walsh boys tennis team overpowered the competition to win the Wyoming State High School Championship on Saturday in Gillette.
The title capped a perfect season for the Trojans, who won state for the first time since 1994. Putnam and Catchpole, both juniors, also finished undefeated on the season.
Putnam, playing at No. 1 singles, defeated Gillette’s Tanner Lemm in the championship match, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). At No. 2 singles, Catchpole earned a 6-0, 6-4 victory over South Regional champ Fletcher Mothershed from Cheyenne South.
The Trojans finished with 59 points to easily outdistance runner-up Gillette (36) and third-place Sheridan (34).
The girls team race went down to the final match and it was defending state champ Emily Needham who lifted Cheyenne Central to its fourth consecutive team title (the Indians tied Sheridan for first place last year) with a 2-1 victory over Kelly Walsh junior Finley Klinger. Needham’s 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 6-4 victory allowed Central to edge the Trojans 50-47.
Sheridan senior Julia Kutz defeated Jackson’s Val Stevenson to win the No. 2 singles title and help the Broncs to a third-place finish.
Cheyenne Central got two other state titles Saturday as Ashli Smedley and Katie Smedley won No. 2 doubles and Sarah Foster and Kaitlyn Ackerman won No. 2 doubles. Laramie’s Abby Kersey and Kayla Vasquez won No. 3 doubles.
The Kelly Walsh girls, who were looking to win their first team title since 2007, got a second-place finish from the No. 2 doubles team of Ava Allsop and Malan Wilson, while senior Lily Putnam (No. 2 singles), Gabreilla Blumberg and Avery Strand (No. 1 doubles) and Taylor Nokes and Ella Catchpole (No. 3 doubles) all placed third.
The boys title was never really in doubt as Kelly Walsh put all three doubles teams, along with Putnam and Catchpole, into the quarterfinals to take an early lead. The No. 2 doubles team of Parker Phillips and Alex Yakel and the No. 3 doubles team of Treydon Ward and Colten Atkinson placed second, with Green River’s Braxton Cordova and Zach Friel winning No. 2 doubles and Sheridan’s Jarett Hoy and Tristan Thompson winning No. 3 doubles.
Jackson’s George Gervais and Jackson Santamauro won No. 1 doubles with a three-set victory over Gillette’s Jefferson Neary and Austin Robertson. The Kelly Walsh team of Buck Harris and Drew Rasmussen finished third at No. 1 doubles.
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