Returning a winner |

Returning a winner

Former Sailors standout wins 5.0 title at weekend tennis tournament

John F. Russell

— Casey Clagett was looking for a major tournament to sharpen his skills before returning for his junior year at Wittenberg University in Ohio this year.

But after a summer away from the tournament circuit, he wasn’t planning on winning the 5.0 title in his first NTRP tournament event at the Tennis Center last week.

“Jim (Swiggart) told me that the competition was going to be pretty tough,” Clagett said. “So I really wasn’t sure what to expect.”

However, Clagett defeated Dennis Crow of Fort Collins in Sunday’s finals 6-3, 6-0 to win the crown. It was the perfect ending to a great summer for Clagett. He will return to college Friday.

“I haven’t played a lot of tournaments this summer,” the former Steamboat Springs High School standout said. “I’ve spent most of my time teaching and practicing.”

Last year Clagett played the No. 2 spot at Wittenberg. The team’s No. 1 player was a senior, so Clagett is hoping to move up this fall.

Clagett was just one of 319 players that took part in the tournament which was the biggest ever held at the Tennis Center.

The event featured ability level competition in mens and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles from 3.0 through 5.0. Twenty-three champions were crowned during the four-day event.

Steamboat’s Ed Mooney lost to Tim Green in the finals.

Kelley Dodge, who lives in Steamboat Springs during the summer, topped the women’s 4.5 singles and the women’s 5.0 singles. Faye Milne, who also lives in Steamboat during the summer, placed first in the 4.0 doubles.

Clagett, however, walked of the court on Sunday with more than just a title under his belt. Clagett worked side by side with Swiggart as he learned what it takes to run a tournament. It was an experience Clagett feels will help him in the future.

“I was at the Tennis Center until 12:30 a.m. most nights and back at 6:30 a.m.,” Clagett said. “It was a pretty long three or four days, but it was well worth it.”

Clagett said his match against Crow started out a little nervous, but by the end of the first game.

“This is the largest tennis tournament we have ever held in Springs,” Swiggart, the president of the tennis center said. “There were some great matches and it was a great weekend.”

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