Frampton, Smith Win Tennis Singles Titles

Glacier duo crowned Northern AA champions for second straight year

By Andy Viano
Regin Koester of Glacier High School competes in the Western AA divisional tennis tournament at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell on May 10, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Glacier High School’s Rory Smith and Maria Frampton repeated as Northern AA Divisional champions, taking home the boys and girls singles titles at Flathead Valley Community College on May 10.

Smith, just a sophomore, blitzed the field at the three-team tournament, winning all three matches he played in straight sets. His closest battle came in the semifinals, when he downed Great Falls C.M. Russell’s Shane Kujala 6-1, 6-2. Smith then beat Flathead freshman Joston Cripe 6-1, 6-0 in the championship match. Smith, Cripe, Kujala and Flathead’s Brett Thompson landed the top four spots at the divisional and all qualified for the Class AA state tournament, May 16-18 in Great Falls.

Frampton, a senior, also did not drop a set in the divisional tournament, rolling past CMR’s Gail Parambi 6-3, 6-2 in the title match. Frampton finished third at the state tournament last year, and will be joined in this year’s field by Parambi, Ally Dube (CMR) and Maggie Rudbach (Glacier).

Flathead picked up a divisional title in the boys doubles competition, with Nolan White and Ethan Hawkins taking down Glacier’s Ben Desmul and Ethan Purdy 6-2, 6-1 in the championship tilt. Two other Wolfpack teams — Kyle Buckingham/Akhil Patel and Drew Engellant/Micah Heil — also qualified for state in third and fourth place, respectively.

In the girls doubles competition, Glacier landed the top two spots. Hannah Nikunen and Ashlyn Sliter were first, followed by Regin Koester and Katie Lessmeier. A pair of Flathead teams — Sierra Dilworth/Marcella Mercer and Emma Hawkins/Kendall Pyron — were third and fourth to finish in qualifying position.

Glacier’s boys edged out Flathead 46-40 to win the team competition. The Wolfpack (51 points) finished comfortably ahead of CMR (27) in the girls team race.

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