By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Metro Christian repeated as state champions in girls’ tennis when it won the Class 4A meet in Oklahoma City.
The Lady Patriots finished with 33 points. Another Tulsa area private school, Regent Prep, was second with 22. Four Metro players won individual titles.
Sophomore Lauren Michalcik won the No. 1 singles championship with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Beth Bayless of Regent Prep. Freshman Grace Deininger was victorious in the No. 2 singles final, 6-2, 6-1, against Taryn Clark of Christian Heritage, and sisters Hallie and Lauren Sutton, senior and sophomore, respectively, finished as the No. 2 doubles champions by winning over Aubrey Colombe and Treity Miller of Byng, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Sophomore Emma McNeese and junior Arden Row contributed to the cause, placing third in No. 1 doubles.
“I love playing with my team and I was so proud of all of them, that we won again,” Michalcik said.
“It’s really cool,” Deninger said.
Michalcik and Deninger swept through their sets en route to their titles.
However, the Sutton sisters were dealt with adversity when they dropped their first set before rallying to win the next two.
“We had to reset and we did a lot better,” Lauren Sutton said.
“There was a lot of mental distractions because we were both really nervous and worked up,” said Hallie Sutton, who played later at the All-State games. “We both had to sit back and play the best we can.”
That they did and out came the victories.
“It’s really awesome, because we’re so close,” Lauren Sutton said.
“When you win with your sister, it is something special and I will always have it as a memory to tell in going forward,” Hallie Sutton said. “It is something I’ll never forget.”
When Hallie Sutton plays at All-State, she will be wrapping up her tennis career as she prepares for college at Oklahoma State.
“I’ll definitely remember the people and especially how challenging it was to get this last state (title),” Hallie Sutton said. “It was fun for all of us.”
This marks Metro’s fourth state championship in girls tennis. In addition to capturing the title last year, it won championships in 2012 and 2013. Having also won last year, Metro has captured state both years in Emily Points’ tenure as coach. A few of the girls believe the program is on the verge of becoming something special.
“I love being part of a team,” Michalcik said. “I love that I have the opportunity to play with all of them here and I definitely think it is growing.”
“I think in the past couple of years, we’ve had more people come into the program that actually care about tennis,” Row said. “Not just as an extracurricular activity, but people who actually put in time and effort, and I think that’s still continuing.”
“Everybody puts in a lot of time playing tennis. They don’t limit it to just school,” McNeese said. “They’ll play at tennis clubs and put in a lot of effort multiple times per week.”
Metro will try to win a third consecutive title next spring. But it will be harder since it will be moving up to Class 5A, where Tulsa’s Bishop Kelley won this year.
“It will be more challenging, but at least we have some good players coming up,” Lauren Sutton said.
“I think we can (compete in 5A),” Roe said. “We just have to work on our mental games and let (foes) know we’re not defeated.”
“I’ll just practice hard through the summer until next year,” Michalcik said. “So it will be tougher competition and a lot more challenging.”
Area Private School Athletics – Quick Hits
Bishop Kelley won the tennis state championships in Class 5A. The girls won their title with 33 points, pacing ahead of runner-up Cascia Hall by 27 points. Top-seeded sisters Reagan, senior and ORU signee, and sophomore Kate Miley respectively won the No. 1 and No. 2 singles championships. Sophomore Aubrey Bailey and junior Bailey Wollmershauser captured the No. 2 doubles title. On the boys’ side, the Comets shared the title with Oklahoma City Heritage Hall as each school finished with 27 points. The No. 2-seeded team of seniors Matthew Gawey and Zac Vaughn repeated as No. 2 doubles champion.
Kelley also won state in Class 5A boys soccer, as it blanked OKC Northeast Classen in the title game. Sophomore Cooper King and senior Austin Rodgers scored the goals.
Kelley also had a pair of individual state champions in girls track and field. Seniors Tess Crosley and Sadie Boos respectively won the 3,200-meter run (11:59.24) and the shot put (42-11½) in mid-May at the Class 5A meet in Moore.
Junior Nate Gibson won the 1,600-meter run for Lincoln Christian in the Class 4A meet in Catoosa. He ran a time of 4:27.09.
Holland Hall had two champions in track at the Class 3A meet. Junior Carrington Jackson-Jones won the girls’ 100-meter run with a time of 12.25 and junior Jake Martens won the boys’ 400-meter run with a time of 49.75.