BYU's David Harkness had to overcome a fainting spell and the Utah doubles team of Eric Chin and Johan Hogstedt had to sweat out an impending flight home, but both were victorious on the final day of the WAC tennis champion-ships.
Harkness, a senior from Salt Lake, won his second straight singles title with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 over hometown favorite Alan Dils of New Mexico. He had blacked out in the opening set before coming back to take the championship.The Ute duo of Chin and Hogstedt weren't even the No. 1 doubles pair on their team and only the seventh seed in the doubles tourney, but they proved themselves in winning four straight matches, including a 6-3, 6-2 win over Air Force's Don Kaliski and Tony Krawietz in the finals. They had barely an hour to spare before their flight left for Salt Lake and would likely have had to default had the match gone to three sets.
Harkness, who fought a virus earlier this week when he lost twice in the team competition, said he woke up feeling "awful" Saturday morning. He tried to shake it off with an hour of warmup and an extra shower. But during the third game, he suddenly blacked out.
"Everything started getting blurry and I went down like a ton of bricks," he said. After a short delay, the match resumed and except for a brief moment at 3-4 in the first set when he felt woozy, Harkness was OK.
He broke early in the second set to win it easily and then broke Dils in the first and third games in the third set to win going away.
For Harkness, the win was "even sweeter than last year because everyone was gunning for me this year."
Chin and Hogstedt, although partners last year, were thrown together for the WAC meet becuase of an injury to a teammate. They knocked off the No. 1-seeded team of Dils and Jorge Ortega of New Mexico, 6-4, 6-2 in Saturday morning's semifinals.
The Falcon duo had to go three sets to beat BYU's Harkness and Johnny Mattice in a third-set tiebreaker and needed extra time between matches. So the doubles final, originally scheduled for 3 p.m. didn't begin until 4:30 p.m. The Ute team was booked on a 6:45 p.m. flight on non-refundable, non-changeable tickets.
However, the Utes made short work of the Falcons, wrapping up the match in just over an hour.
"Before the match I was kind of antsy, but once the match started, it wasn't on my mind," said Chin of the flight.
"It's a great way to finish my career," said Chin, the only senior on the Ute squad.
Not only did he take home a doubles trophy, Chin also was named co-winner of the sportsmanship trophy for the tournament, along with Kalisky of Air Force.