Reagan Harrison shreds the ski slopes and dominates on the tennis court |

Reagan Harrison shreds the ski slopes and dominates on the tennis court

The junior is part skier, part tennis star for Miners

Junior Reagan Harrison poses for a photo on Tuesday. Harrison won a state title last year playing third singles and plays second singles this year.
| David Jackson/Park Record

Junior Reagan Harrison joined Park City High School’s girls tennis team a year ago and immediately put her name on the map.

Harrison was Park City’s third singles player last year and dominated. She only lost one match during the regular season and won the region title in her bracket. Harrison followed that up with a nearly perfect run in the state tournament, only dropping a handful of games en route to an individual state title. 

This year, Harrison has moved up Park City’s lineup into the second singles position, and she hasn’t been fazed by facing better competition. Harrison dispatched junior Rachel Heimburger during Park City’s match against Skyline on Tuesday 6-1, 6-4 before finally losing her first match of the season on Wednesday against Olympus. 

The twist? Tennis isn’t her primary sport. Skiing is. 

Harrison attends the Winter Sports School, and tennis is just her second sport. 

“She’s an athlete, she’s a competitor, she knows how to focus,” Park City assistant coach Bradley Smith said. “She gets after it. She’s a lot of fun.”

Tennis has been a part of Harrison’s family for a long time, so it was only natural she picked up the sport. Harrison’s dedicated to skiing, but she didn’t want to abandon tennis entirely. 

“My grandma played tennis and my dad played tennis and both of my brothers play tennis, so we’ve been a tennis family since I’ve been super little,” Harrison said. “But it came to ninth grade, freshman year, and I had to make a choice. And I decided that I wanted to do both, and the Winter Sports School has really helped me do that.”

Harrison noted the two sports have a lot in common on the mental side. Granted, the margin of error in tennis isn’t the same as in skiing. Missing a shot in a high-school tennis match won’t end in a trip to the hospital. 

“Skiing is a lot about breathing, and you have to be completely focused the entire time,” Harrison said. “Because if you make one mistake on the ski hill, you’re out, you’re not going to win. When I’m skiing, it’s the hill, and that’s it. I’m focused just on the gates, and that’s it. And so, I think that that’s really important with tennis is you just block everything out and you’re on the court and that’s the ball and that’s all you focus on.”

Physically, there are benefits as well.

“Skiing, it’s kind of like, once you’re in it, you’re going,” Harrison said. “And that’s kind of how I play tennis as well. I kind of put everything into every shot and then go for it a little bit more than I should. But I think that’s from skiing. And then, being able to react quickly on the court and move back and forth is super helpful in skiing when you’re making those turns as hard as you are.”

The two sports don’t usually clash too much, but there are moments when they do. For example, during the final day of the state tournament last year, Harrison’s tennis bag was packed in preparation for a flight to Europe for skiing immediately afterward. 

Harrison doesn’t have an off button. She’s always energetic, giving it her all 100% of the time. She provides the Miners with plenty of infectious enthusiasm along with an unrelenting work ethic and endurance. Harrison estimates she plays about three to five hours of tennis a day in addition to running most mornings and completing her dry-land workouts for skiing. 

“When I get here for practice, she’s already been here for two hours, working on her serve, beating balls, practicing with someone,” Smith said. “She’ll just show up and find someone to hit with. She’s strong, she’s fit, she stays that way. She’s not going to run out of energy.”

Even though she attends the Winter Sports School, she’s also garnered the respect of her teammates.

“The girls voted her junior captain this year, so she’s looked up to by her teammates as a leader on the team,” Smith said. “She’s just a lot of fun to have. She’s super positive, she keeps the environment really positive for the girls.”

Senior Olivia Tarmina only met Harrison last year. But the two became pretty close last year, and that’s continued this season.

“She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” Tarmina said. “She’s just crazy and just high energy all the time, always wanting to push herself. Just being around her gives you so much more energy and makes you so much happier, honestly. She’s just such a good personality to be around.”

Whether it’s screaming the names of the varsity roster while reading the matchups before every match or creating her own language, Harrison helps keep everything light for herself and her teammates.

“On the court, we’re doing handshakes,” Tarmina said. “We have, like, five different handshakes. And it’s just she cares about the team and making people feel better, and it’s so nice.”

Junior Reagan Harrison returns a shot during Tuesday’s match. Harrison won 6-1, 6-4.
David Jackson/Park Record

Harrison has continued to be in control while playing second singles this year. Tuesday’s win was the first time she had even dropped five games in a match all season. Harrison had some nerves in her first match in her new position this year, but she’s grown more confident throughout the season. 

“When you play with confidence, it’s a totally different game,” Harrison said. “I think just playing these few matches over the season have given me that confidence, so now I’m feeling a lot better and just confident on the court.”

Smith believes Harrison’s confidence dates back to last year’s state tournament run.

“To me, the biggest factor in that, the fruit of that, is her self-confidence,” Smith said. “She comes out of that with so much self-confidence, that, ‘I can do hard things.’ And that to me, is the biggest thing about high-school girls tennis. Teach them they can do hard things, and it just parlays into the rest of their lives.”

Last year’s experience helps, even if it was in third singles instead of second singles. But instead of just trying to replicate last year’s feat, she has something new to fight for this year. 

“Having known that I’ve done it and now that I’m playing in a harder bracket, I can push harder and see how that goes,” Harrison said. “Now there’s no pressure, so I’m just excited to play as hard as I can and see how
it goes.”

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