With four state champions out of the five events, the Timpview T-Birds absolutely dominated the competition to take their sixth straight title and eighth in the last 10 years at the 4A state tennis tournament at Liberty Park on Saturday.
Leading by only one point heading into the final two rounds, the T-Birds had enough points after the semis for the outright win and ended up doubling their nearest competitor, Pine View, 25-12 in the final points tally.
Highland sophomore Devin Lane, the lone victor not from Timpview, repeated as state champion in first singles. Lane faced one of the toughest first singles brackets in years on his way to the top.
"He really earned this championship. He had three really hard matches," Highland coach Mark Foote said. "I'm just thrilled for him. It's hard to come in and be the favorite with a target on his chest and everyone gunning for him."
"I knew going in it'd be a tough draw," Lane said. "I'm happy with the result, though. Hopefully I can do it again and again the next two years."
Box Elder's Jordan Barlow broke Lane's first serve in the first set to go up 1-0 and then Lane went on a 4-0 tear en route to the 6-2 win.
In the second set, Lane had five match points on serve that Barlow successfully countered before finally putting the match away.
"Having five match points and losing them all was pretty frustrating, but I just had to dig deep and focus," Lane said.
In second singles, junior Cal Larson overcame a tough semifinal against Highland's Sutton Shackelford, a reprise of last year's state final, to repeat as state champion. Having won the first doubles title as a freshman, this is Larson's third straight title.
"I thought the second singles bracket, and every other bracket really, was deeper," Larson said. "It's been a better overall tournament."
The third singles champion was Timpview junior Skyler Evans.
Evans faced region rival Adam Lewis from Mountain View and took the 6-1, 6-3 win.
The Pine View Panthers, who made the transition from 3A, made an excellent showing to take second. The Panthers finished third at the 3A tourney last year, although they took both doubles titles.
"Can we go up to 5A next year, please?" Pine View coach Dow Christenson said. "The way things are going, if we bump up another level, maybe we'll get first."
Pine View took second in both doubles finals, losing to two strong Timpview tandems.
"We went in thinking, if we have a shot, let's put it in the doubles," Christenson said. "Timpview was just too good, though. I don't think we could make an all-star team out of the other schools that could've beaten Timpview this year."
Bret Bahme and Parker Dobson, who finished second last year, defeated Clark Wilkey and Skyler Almquist, who took first in second doubles at the 3A level last year in a long 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 first doubles battle.
In second doubles, Michael Christensen and Dallin Waldrop defeated Pine View's Jake Lingwall and Kevin Steck to repeat as state champions."I'm just so happy for the kids," Timpview coach Rob Sperry said. "It does so much good for them."
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