Shawnee Mission tennis players made quite the mark on this year’s 6A state tournament.
SM Northwest senior Nam Pham completed a perfect 33-0 season by defeating Olathe West’s Brett Seaton 6-0, 6-0 on the courts at the Olathe College Boulevard Activity Center on Saturday. It capped off a remarkable high school career for Pham, who went 25-0 in the regular season as a junior only to lose in the state semi-finals last year, taking third place in the individual results.
Despite not finishing any players or doubles teams higher than third, SM East showed consistency and depth in the team competition, returning to the top of the podium for the first time since 2014. The duo of Jacob Tilton and Hayden Leatherwood led the Lancers, taking third place overall in the doubles field. Teammates Sam Freund and Hudson Mosher finished fourth in the doubles field. The team was aided by strong singles performances from Jake Louiselle and Blake Easton, who finished sixth and eighth, respectively.
It was the 11th overall state title in boys tennis for SM East. No other program has won as many state titles since KSHSAA began awarding them in the mid-1980s.
Pham, Tilton and Leatherwood were among the Kansas City United Tennis club players who took part in a ceremony earlier this month noting their signings with college programs. Pham is headed to play at Illinois State University next year. Tilton is headed to Lake Forest College and Leatherwood is playing at DePauw University.
In 3-2-1A state competition, Kansas City Christian’s Owen Vander Ark won the singles title and helped propel his Panthers team to a second place overall finish in the team standings.