CR boys, girls dominate in state tennis tournament

Parker Barton

Parker Barton

NEWARK — Parker Barton had experienced coming up just short of a state title twice in his high school career.

With one more shot, he wasn’t going to let that go to waste.

Barton was one of 10 Caesar Rodney High athletes celebrating a victory in the tennis state championship round on Wednesday. The Riders also brought home both the boys’ and girls’ team titles at the event hosted by the University of Delaware.

“I trained a lot harder since I knew this was my last chance,” Barton said. “I’m feeling great. I’ve been waiting to win a state championship for four years.”

Caesar Rodney won four of the five brackets in the girls’ competition. The Riders totaled 27 overall points, for a big gap over second place finishers Archmere Academy and Wilmington Charter, which each had 18 points.

The boys’ title race was much closer, with Caesar Rodney earning 21 points to edge Archmere, which recorded 20.

One of the turning points in the tight battle between the two teams was when CR’s David Haynes won the third singles championship round over an opponent from Archmere. Haynes was victorious in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.

Barton, who finished as a runner-up individually his freshman and sophomore years, won the second singles. He also needed just two sets, winning 6-2, 6-1.

Barton credited working on his mental preparation for being able to win a championship as a senior.

“I got nervous the first two years I think that could have been the reason I lost in the finals,” Barton said. “You got to find your happy place pretty much, find a way to calm yourself down and make yourself a little looser.”

On the girls’ side, Caesar Rodney won the second singles, third singles, first doubles and second doubles.

The Riders won all of those matches in straight sets too. Junior Halle Parker was crowned the second singles champion with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

“We worked hard every single day,” Parker said. “We did a lot of conditioning, which I have to thank coach (Zach) Taylor for. We just stuck together as a team and we’re so close.”

Natasha Sijan won the third singles title with a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Katherine Tamesis, and Micaela Thorogood picked up a 6-1, 6-4 results in the finals of the first doubles bracket. In second doubles, Chloe Mangubat and Caroline Pangle won 6-2, 6-4.

Parker said with so much talent on the squad, the Riders can only get better practicing against that type of competition every single day.

“The practices are pretty intense honestly,” she said. “Our teammates are our best opponents and that helps a lot.”

Milford’s Colt Williamson finished as the state runner-up in the boys’ first singles while Caesar Rodney’s Gregor Gravelle and Adam Ahern ended up second in the state in boys’ second doubles.

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