Cochrane is champ
CEDAR RAPIDS – Jaci Cochrane etched her name in the Fort Dodge Senior High record books Friday at the Veterans Memorial Tennis Center.
The top-seeded freshman became the first girl in school history to win a state singles tennis title. After posting a 6-0, 6-1 semifinal victory over Waukee’s Kayla Kuethe, Cochrane downed No. 2 seed Eve Small of Iowa City High in the Class 2A championship by scores of 6-4 and 7-5.
“I was always looking forward to state and knew I’d be able to compete at that level, but that last match was really a tough one,” said Cochrane, who finished a perfect 12-0 on the year. “I had faced Eve a lot growing up and felt pretty good going in, but once I got out there (on the court), I got nervous and felt a little pressure.
“This (state crown) makes me feel really confident now heading into next year.”
Small previously placed third at state in 2012. Friday’s loss to Cochrane ended an unbeaten season for Small.
“Jaci found a strong competitor in Eve Small,” said Fort Dodge head coach Karine Feddersen. “Eve came out hitting hard forcing Jaci to play defense.
“She has controlled every match she has played this season, but (today) she needed to step back and let the points develop. In the end Jaci was able to stay focused and finish.”
Fort Dodge’s last individual state champion in any sport was David Knight, who earned a 2A state singles tennis title as a senior here in 2010.
In doubles play Friday, the Dodger duo of Kari Grindberg and Emily Knight settled for eighth. Following a 6-3, 6-3 setback to Iowa City West’s Elena Wilson and Addy Riley, Grindberg and Knight dropped a 6-2, 6-0 decision to Jenni Aldrich and Lucy Korsakov from West Des Moines Valley.
:As 2 of the 4 seeded doubles teams fell in the second round of the main draw,” Feddersen said. “The consolation bracket was extremely strong.
“Kari and Emily exceeded their expectations by placing eighth in the tournament.”
Urbandale’s tandem of Michelle Van Roekel and Madeline Heer claimed 2A gold with a 7-6(5), 6-3 finals triumph against Lilly Hartman and Rina Moore of Cedar Rapids Washington.