‘Beast mode:’ Harrison takes home state title as Miners claim 4th at states
All 4 of Park City’s positions make semifinals
Park City sophomore Reagan Harrison found herself in a very familiar position against Highland junior Samantha Kiburtz. The two had squared off in the Region 6 girls tennis finals a week earlier, where Harrison avenged a loss to Kiburtz in the regular season to take home the title.
On Saturday, with the Class 5A third singles title on the line, they faced off again.
Harrison knocked off Kiburtz 6-0, 6-1 and after winning the match point jumped up and down in celebration. She looked to her right and saw her teammates excitedly waving their arms through the window inside the Salt Lake Tennis & Health Club’s tennis bubble and responded by doing the same. After walking off the court, she was mobbed by a red-clad crowd of teammates, coaches and family.
Harrison took home Park City’s first individual state championship since it moved up to Class 5A in 2019, while the Miners claimed fourth place as a team. Park City’s 12 points were five points behind the first-place tie between Woods Cross and Highland and an improvement from last year’s seven points. The Miners had all four of their qualifying positions reach the semifinals, but Harrison was the only one who broke through.
“(I feel) pretty much like I’m on top of the world, that was pretty cool,” Harrison said. “It’s hard mentally to prepare for a match like this, but I just thought, ‘I’m going to do my best and whatever happens, happens, as long as it’s fun.’”
Harrison dropped just three games in her title run. She dispatched Provo senior Sally Otterstrom 6-0, 6-0 and undefeated Timpview freshman Hailey Miner 6-0, 6-2 on Thursday to advance to Saturday’s action. Harrison, who is primarily a downhill skier, didn’t lose a game against Salem Hills senior Emilee Nicholls in the semifinals before defeating Kiburtz again.
“I always tell her she’s a beast, it’s beast mode,” Miners coach Lani Wilcox said. “She’s such an incredible athlete that she can come in and drive, that’s something that you can’t really teach a lot of people.
“That’s incredible, that’s domination when you think about it.”
Harrison’s championship boosted Park City’s place in the standings, and the Miners were still in the hunt for the state title heading into Saturday. But Park City’s three remaining positions weren’t as fortunate.
Junior Elle Martin, Park City’s first singles player, cruised through the first day of competition with two victories despite coming into the tournament ranked as Region 6’s No. 3 first singles player. She met undefeated Highland senior Dylan Lolofie in the semifinals and left everything on the court. After losing 2-6 in the first set, Martin pushed Lolofie to the brink in the second, rallying from a 4-1 deficit to tie it up at five. Lolofie finally put Martin away 7-5, but Martin wasn’t disappointed with her effort.
“I’m feeling good, I played a really good match, and so did Dylan,” Martin said. “It was just a competitive, fun match the entire way through, so it was just a good match, fun match to play.”
Junior Olivia Tarmina nearly didn’t even make it to Saturday’s semifinals after a tough match against Orem senior Kayla Carlson in the opening round of the second singles bracket. Tarmina dropped the opening set 4-6 but battled back to win the second 6-1. She then rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third to force a dramatic tiebreaker before winning 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6).
Tarmina made it to Saturday after another win in the second round, but she quickly recognized that it just wasn’t her day against Woods Cross freshman Emmy Richards, who ended up winning the state title. Richards defeated Tarmina 6-2, 6-1 to end her season.
“She was telling me when I was coaching her that she just felt off,” Wilcox said. “And when you throw your rhythm off, you know as a player, and she just knew. And the thing is, she kept fighting, and that was all I asked of her to do.”
The Miners’ second doubles team of junior Aly Inglish and senior Mayme Hansen didn’t fare much better. The duo lost to Timpview 4-6, 4-6 after only dropping five games in their first two matches of the tournament.
“My girls fought tooth and nail, had some pretty tough draws but did really well coming through, and to get four positions into the semis, any coach would take that away,” Wilcox said. “These girls, like I told them, I wouldn’t trade them for any of these teams.”
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Mattie Prior has taken over for the Miners after her twin sister, Cassie, broke her wrist.