8 Fairbanks athletes ready for State Tennis Tournament

Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 5:53 PM AKDT
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In an effort to combat a large field of athletes, the Alaska High School State Tennis tournament will not qualify entire teams, but rather individuals who are victorious in the Regional landscape.

The State Tennis Tournament is set for Saturday, October 10 at the East Anchorage Alaska Club, featuring eight players from the Fairbanks-area.

Last weekend’s Region VI tournament determined who will represent Interior, Alaska and some familiar faces came out on top.

Lathrop’s Luke Millam, a three-time Region VI boys singles champion, will look to improve on his 5th place finish at last year’s state tournament. Millam also aspires to continue his tennis career in college, which is why playing out his senior year was so important with all of the question marks at the beginning of the year.

“It gave me an opportunity to play more, get on the courts more, also a place to show myself off to these college coaches and put myself out there,” Millam said. "Normally it is snowing this time of year and we’re playing indoors so it is really nice to be out here on the courts playing. I definitely feel like it is one of my best shots this year.”

Also heading to state this weekend, Millam’s teammate in Helen Wharton, who took the girls singles Region VI title. Lathrop will continue to be well-represented at the single-day state tournament, as Owen Averett and Gage Hale will compete in the boys doubles, while Tifinni Hollcraft and Hannah Knott will look to make some noise in the girls doubles event.

West Valley will be represented by Cole Neal and Klara Kondrak, who took the Region VI mixed doubles match last weekend.

“Cole and I are usually singles players, but we switched our line up because only eight can go to state. We started playing mixed doubles together just like a week ago.” Kondrak said after the Region VI tournament. “It is a weird season, so it is nice to be able to go.” Neal added.

Information about the 2020 State Tennis Tournament can be found here.

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