Clarinda junior Nathan Brown will play at the state tennis tournament.
Brown finished second in singles Wednesday, May 12, at the Class 1A district tournament held at Red Oak.
He advances to the state tournament, which is scheduled for May 28-29 at Byrnes Park in Waterloo.
Brown didn’t drop a set in winning his first three matches, although few of the sets were easy.
He beat Red Oak freshman Max DeVries 6-4, 6-1 to open the tournament and then downed Southwest Valley junior Gabe Fuller 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. That win put Brown into the semifinals and a match with the number 2 seed, John Reynoldson of Clarke, a junior. Brown took the first set 6-0 before winning the second set 6-4 to move onto the state tournament.
“I’m very proud of Nathan and how well he played Wednesday,” Clarinda head coach Matt Bird said. “Life at the top of the tennis lineup can be tough in a season that moves very quickly. Nathan started the season strong, and then experienced some tough losses. He hung in there and played some of his best tennis when it mattered most, which is something we constantly try to remind our athletes.”
Brown fell in the district final, 6-3, 6-3 to Shenandoah freshman Andrew Lawrence, who came into the tournament seeded fourth. Both advance to the state bracket.
“Nathan loves to play tennis and has put a lot of work into it, especially these last few weeks,” Bird said. “The state tournament will be a great experience for him and his development as a player.”
Two of the other three Cardinal entries won one match each at the district
tournament. The five match wins gave Clarinda 11 team points, one behind Southwest Valley for third place and a spot in the preliminary substate team field.
Shenandoah won the district team title with 19 points. Atlantic finished second with 15.
Cardinal junior Lance Regehr also competed in the singles draw and won his opening match, 6-3, 6-1 over Creston senior Nate Wells. That win gave Regehr a match with the tournament’s top seed, Southwest Valley senior Kade Hutchings. Regehr battled hard, but fell 6-4, 6-4 to Hutchings, who ended up finishing fourth.
Clarinda junior Kale Downey and sophomore Luke Baker were the team’s top entry in the doubles draw and finished 1-1.
They beat Red Oak freshmen Joshua LeRette and Tyler Beeson 6-2, 6-0 in their opening match, but then dropped a close match to the tournament’s number 3 seed, Glenwood’s Teagan Matheny and Tyler Harger. The Glenwood duo needed a tiebreak, which they won 7-1, to win the opening set. Downey and Baker then fell 6-3 in the second set, ending their run. The Glenwood duo ended up finishing fourth.
The other Clarinda entry in the doubles field, junior Sant Dow and senior Cyrus Lawrence, drew the top seed and eventual champion in the opening round, Atlantic senior Grant Sturm and junior Ethan Sturm. The Strum brothers won 6-0, 6-0. They dropped just eight total games in winning their four matches to claim a district title.