Valley Center's Brauer, Swift win 5A doubles; Salina Central takes state title

TOPEKA, Kan. - A year after winning their first team tennis title in school history, the Valley Center Hornets are bringing more hardware back home with Hayden Brauer and Colby Swift winning the Class 5A doubles championship Saturday.

The Hornet pair took down Salina Central's Reed McHenry and Max Shaffer in three sets, 4-6 6-4 6-3, to win the doubles championship. The win comes a year after Brauer came up short at State, taking third in singles in 2018, this year teaming up with fellow senior Swift to take first. Central's McHenry won state last year as a freshman alongside then-senior Will Hayes.

As a team, however, Salina Central still took home the top prize, finishing 12 points ahead of second place Maize South with a team score of 40. The Mustangs had four qualifiers at State, all four placing withing the top 12 of either singles or doubles.

In singles, it was Pietro Perego that defeated Adam Burke of St. James in straight sets, giving Topeka-Seaman their first ever boys tennis champion. The Italian Exchange Student won 6-1 6-4, capping a 28-1 season with the championship.

Elsewhere in the state, Shawnee Mission Northwest's Nam Pham ended Olathe West's Brett Seaton's quest for four state titles in four years as Pham defeated Seaton in straight sets. Seaton won the 5A title a year ago, before the Owls moved up to Class 6A. Pham took first a year after taking third as a junior in 2018. On the doubles side it was the Blue Valley Northwest team of Brent Fallon and Alex Mojica that took gold, the second straight doubles win for Fallon.

In Class 4A, a big day for Topeka Hayden that saw first, fourth and fifth place finishes respectively resulted in a team title for the Wildcats, their first since 2014. Hayden's Sean Sandstrom took first in single, defeating Circle's Carson Mosier 6-2 6-1. The senior took first in his first year playing singles, placing the past three years in doubles.

On the doubles side, it was the Buhler team of Camrin and Carter Engelken that took first in Pratt. The twin brothers won in straight sets over Abilene's Luke Kohler and Cody Schiffner, 6-3 6-3, to caputre their first state championship.

Finally, in Class 3-2-1A, Collegiate's Max Wheeler and Luke Swan wrapped up an undefeated season on the courts with a three set win over fellow unbeatens Brett Liebl and Devin Ryan of Central Plains, the first loss in any sport this season for the Oiler pair. For Wheeler, the 3 set victory wraps up a highly successful high school career with his first title. Last year alongside the sophomore Swan, the Collegiate pair took third in Class 4A. That was just part of a team title for the Spartans, their third in the past four years.

Then for the host school, Kansas City-Christian's Owen Vander Ark took first in singles, a year after falling in the final match for his first title, helping KCC to a runner-up finish.