For the second straight year, St. Petersburg's Danielle Collins won the USTA 18s National Spring Championship in Mobile, Ala. Collins, the sixth seed in the tournament, defeated No. 8 seed Catherine Harrison in the final 6-1, 6-1.
Not only did Collins win the national championship and the gold ball trophy that comes with it, she also won the sportsmanship award.
"So I got to come home with a trophy and a big sportsmanship plaque at the same tournament,'' she said.
Collins, 17, was not coming into nationals with much momentum. At the national open in Tampa two weeks ago, she was bounced out of the tournament early. But she rebounded nicely at nationals.
That could be because she has stepped up her training. Collins is working out at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton and with Scott Dei at Isla Del Sol. She no longer attends Northeast High School, where she won a state singles title last year. Collins takes classes online so she can concentrate on her promising tennis career.
"I played so well," Collins told ZooTennis.com. "It was different because a lot of my matches in this tournament I was really thinking about it, but (Saturday) I was on a whole other planet.''
The Sarmiento's annual Super Series Championships were held on March 12-14 at St. Petersburg Tennis Center. The boys 18 singles champ was Arsav Mohanty, the 16 winner was Alexandru Gozun and the 14 winner was Adam Ambrozy. The girls 18 winner was Agatha Ambrozy, the 16 winner was Marie Bouzkova, the 14 winner was Kyla Nuesa and the 12 winner was Ava Sowell.
• The Bardmoor Super Series was held on March 18-20 at Bardmoor Country Club. The boys 18 singles winner was Damian Gryzelko, the 16 winner was Will Showers, the 14 winner was Bailey Showers and the 10 winner was Nicholas Yale. The girls 18 winner was Katie Pollan, the 16 winner was Alexandra Kitchen, the 14 winner was Rachel Rohrabacher, the 12 winner was Ava Sowell and the 10 winner was Sanyukta Gawande.
• East Lake Woodlands held its senior championships on March 18-20. The men's 45 singles winner was Jimmy Gatza, the 55 winner was Juan Coronel, the 65 winner was Lester Mandelker and the 75 winner was George Pittas.
The nine-hole women's invitational was held at Belleair Country Club on Thursday. The winners after a scorecard playoff were Joy Porter, JoAnne Schaub, Jill Dodge and Rosarie O'Rourke. Second place went to Laurette Paterson, Pat Watt, Barbara Zaccarroa and Janet Henderson.
At the prep op and level 7 state championship in Coral Springs last week, Mina Kim of the Tampa Bay Turners was the top all-around gymnast in prep op and Sami Strickler was the top level 7 gymnast. Prep op novice winners were Casey McLaughlin (vault, bars, floor, all-around) and Jessica Beltran (vault, bars). Prep op open winners were Bonnie Barber (bars), Lauren LaPeter (vault, bars, beam, all-around) and Mina Kim (vault, bars, floor, all-around). Level 7 winners were Makayla Adams (bars), Halle Goodwin (beam, floor, all-around), Hannah Mixson (vault, beam, floor, all-around) and Sami Strickler (vault, bars, beam, floor, all-around). Boyle, LaPeter, Kim, Strickler and Goodwin will represent Florida at the regional team competitions.
• Apollo Gymnastics also competed in the prep op state championship. Prep optional winners were Alex Goldsmith (beam), Kaya Susuico (all-around, floor), Meghan Bentley (bars, beam), Jerrica Rubinett (all-around, floor) and Mariah Russo (beam). In Level 7, Sophie Woodward qualified for the regional meet in Atlanta.
• LaFleur's of Largo also competed in Coral Springs. Prep optional winners were Kendal Mierz (floor), Eleni Psaltis (vault) and Katelyn Puttick (vault, bars). Level 7 winners were Hannah Nestler (vault), Skylar Hopkins (vault, bars) and Alexa Mattessich (floor).
If you have a community sports event worthy of recognition, e-mail Rodney Page at [email protected]