The first shall be last.
Chatfield’s No. 1 singles ace Kelsey Brading was last on May 2 on a cold and windy day at the Ken-Caryl Ranch House. She was first, too.
While her teammates had wrapped up regional titles in quick fashion, Brading got everyone’s undivided attention as she went three sets with Denver East’s Yerica Pessoa to give the Chargers a clean sweep of Class 5A’s Region 3.
It took a little longer, but it was worth it for Brading.
“I’ve played her a lot before,” Brading said. “She’s one of those people I’ve known for a long time, but that was the longest match we’ve had. She’s gotten a lot better.”
The Chargers scored 84 points while Denver East was second with 58. Mountain Vista was third in the eight-team tournament with 45 team points.
Brading cruised in her earlier outings as she won her first match 6-1, 6-4, before dispatching Nicolette Yeomans of Littleton with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
“I had to get used to one side of the court you could hit really hard, and the other side you couldn’t hit very hard because of the wind,” Brading said. “So one side was kind of a defensive side.”
Chatfield, which recently defeated 11-time defending state champions Cherry Creek in a dual match, rolled in straight sets in the six other finals.
Lindsey Sanders took the No. 2 singles title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Laura Peters of Mountain Vista in their final.
At No. 3 singles, Ashley Sanders took care of Erin Musso of East with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Kelley Pickens and Melissa LeMar handled their competition from Littleton 6-3, 6-2 to win the No. 1 singles championship.
The most dominating victory in the finals went to Chatfield’s No. 2 doubles tandem of Sarah Layman and Dani Lutes, who took care of East’s duo with a 6-1, 6-0 victory. The girls won their first match 6-1, 6-0 and their semifinal match 6-0, 6-0.
The No. 3 doubles team of Ali Grush and Sara Palmer made things nearly as easy with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over East’s tandem, while Anna Gleave and Kimberly Arfsten took the No. 4 doubles spot with a 7-5, 6-0 victory.
“I think we’re all really excited for state,” Brading said. “It’s one of those years where anyone can win. Usually it’s just Creek.”
Columbine placed fourth in Region 7 with 31 points. Carly Smith placed second in the No. 3 singles final with a 6-0, 6-2 loss to Heritage’s Gabi Guerra. Fairview won the region with 70 points, followed by Heritage (65 points) and Rocky Mountain (33).
Dakota Ridge placed fourth in Region 8. The Eagles’ No. 4 doubles tandem of Kristen Schultz and Kennedi White lost in the final but maintained their place in state by winning their playback match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.