Story and photos by Kurt Johnson
Picking the top anything of the year is never an easy proposition, and as we complete our third list of top Utah high school sports stories of the year for Preps Utah, we found that this list is no exception.
For the 2013-2014 school year, we released our Top 20 stories of the year, but this year, we have expanded our list to 25 stories, some of which combine multiple events that share common themes. Since the goal is not to be exactly right, as anything of this nature is entirely subjective, but to recognize as many of the great accomplishments of the student athletes across the state as we can, we hope you will understand.
Beginning July 13 and continuing for the next three weeks, we will release one or two items on our list per day, beginning with No. 25 and working our way up to story No. 1. Today, we announce No. 21.
#21 – Tennis titans return
The last two seasons provided a little bit of a break from the dominance of the boys tennis teams at Brighton and Timpview. The one thing we learned at the 2015 state championships is that things are back to normal in that sport.
From 2006 through 2012, Brighton won seven consecutive 5A state tennis championships, while the run of success for Timpview was even more impressive. The Thunderbirds took 9-of-10 4A titles between 2003 and 2012, with the lone miss coming in 2010.
Then, we arrived at 2013 and 2014, when fueled by groups of outstanding individual state champions, Viewmont (in 5A) and Mountain View (4A) each won back-to-back banners. An interesting note about 2015 – Viewmont still produced the Class 5A No. 1 singles individual champion (Jake Tullis) and Mountain View’s Jon Dollahite won his third straight 4A title in No. 1 singles.
Having the No. 1 players in the state in their classifications, however, was not enough for the reigning champs to hold off the perennial powers, as Brighton had enough to hold off Viewmont 21-15 in the 5A team standings, while No. 1 singles was the only bracket Timpview did not win on its way to a dominant 4A team championship.
Dollahite knocked of Thunderbird senior Paul Monson to win the 4A first singles title, leaving Timpview with one second place to go with four first-place results. Zach Simpson (No. 2 singles), Scotty Wynn (No. 3 singles), Travis Wardrop and Mason Brockbank (No. 1 doubles), and Nate Austin and Skyler Johnson (No. 2 doubles) all finished on top of their brackets.
Those results gave the Timpview 28 points of the maximum possible 30, and its 10th state title now in 13 years.
In 5A, the Bengals saw their No. 1 singles player catch a bad break in the brackets, as Chase Stoner gave Tullis a battle before losing a three-set semifinal match. Brighton’s Anthony Panuzio earned the No. 2 singles championship, while the Bengals’ Jared Mansell won No. 3 singles. Brighton sealed the team championship with the No. 2 doubles state championship run by Mitchell Mansell and Jake Fisher.
Viewmont did finish second in Class 5A, six points behind the champion Bengals. In the 4A competition, Maple Mountain slipped past Mountain View to finish second to Timpview.
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