TENNIS: Claremore shows grit in Mike Larimer Classic

Apr. 3—Claremore tennis courts were abuzz with action as the Mike Larimer Classic, a prestigious quad tournament, unfolded last Friday.

Named in honor of the recently retired hall-of-fame coach Michael Larimer, the event saw spirited battles among Claremore, Sand Springs, Rejoice Christian and Memorial. The boys showcased their prowess, securing a commendable second-place finish, while the girls demonstrated resilience to clinch third. Looking ahead, the Zebras are geared up for a dual against Booker T. Washington on Thursday night, followed by hosting the Metro Lakes Conference Tournament next Tuesday, April 9.

The standout performance of the day belonged to the dynamic duo of Ben Forbes and Cash Kimblern, who triumphed in the No. 2 doubles category with an impressive 3-0 record.

Forbes and Kimblern showcased their mettle by clinching victories against formidable opponents, including teammates Hunter Desy and Luke Wickham, who stood in for Sand Springs in the final match.

This victory was particularly notable as Forbes, typically paired with Will Jones, teamed up with Kimblern in Jones' absence. Jones, on the other hand, was paired with Drew Mason for the Mike Larimer Classic, the duo finishing 1-2.

Forbes and Jones had previously exhibited their dominance at the East/West Quad on Tuesday, March 26, emerging victorious with an unblemished record. They also secured a 7-5, 3-6, 10-8 victory over Cascia Hall in the Ponca City Wildcat Tournament on Monday, but the remainder of the event was rained out.

In addition to Forbes and Kimblern's stellar performance, the boys secured two runner-up finishes in the tournament.

Kaden Holland exhibited his resilience in the No. 1 singles category, rebounding from an early setback to secure second place with a commendable victory over Boris Baker of Sand Springs. Holland's journey to the second-place finish included a 6-1, 6-2 victory over David Untila of Memorial before suffering a loss to Rejoice Christian's Conner McMullin in Round 2 by scores of 6-0, 6-4. However, he rallied back with a victory over Boris Baker of Sand Springs with scores of 2-6, 6-2, and 10-1.

Similarly, Kaden Salcido showcased his prowess in the No. 2 singles category, culminating his campaign with a hard-fought victory to clinch second place. Salcido started his journey with a victory over teammate Kasey Filipek but later lost to Rejoice Christian's Jeret Stone in the second round. He managed to secure second place by defeating Brett Baker of Sand Springs.

On the girls' front, Claremore faced tougher challenges, with Taylor Phillips and Ella Ralsten emerging as the sole pair to clinch a top-two finish in the No. 2 doubles category. Their tenacity and skill were on full display as they notched victories over formidable opponents, including their teammates Libbie Jones and Arianna Vitiello and counterparts from Rejoice Christian, Abby Cupp and Leyton Luginbill.