PUEBLO – Ellen Southworth’s state tournament ended Friday without her ever touching a tennis racket.
In order to qualify for the playbacks and a chance to win her way to third place, Southworth needed Haley Chrico of Regis Jesuit, who beat the Durango High School senior 6-0, 6-0 on Thursday, to win her semifinal match Friday morning.
Chrico, however, fell to Payton Fielding of Cheyenne Mountain 6-0, 6-2 on a cold, windy morning at Pueblo City Park, eliminating Southworth from the CHSAA Class 4A Girls Tennis State Championships.
Southworth said she was disappointed not to get a shot to play one final match at the state tournament, but she was quick to add she was satisfied with what she was able to accomplish in her high school tennis career. Southworth was a state qualifier in both her junior and senior seasons at No. 2 singles.
“I am (disappointed), but it is what it is,” said Southworth, daughter of Robin Lucie and Scott Southworth.
“I’m really happy how everything panned out my last season. I’m a little disappointed with my state showing, but that’s OK.”
Southworth’s next move will be to graduate, then attend Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where she said she plans to continue playing tennis and skiing, both of which she did competitively at the high school level.
“I always have the opportunity to play tennis, and I don’t know; we’ll see when we get there,” said Southworth, a junior Olympic freestyle skier.
The loss by Chrico also brought to an end the high school coaching career of DHS head coach Dave Weisfeldt. The longest-tenured active head coach at Durango High School has been at the helm of the girls team for 16 years and the boys for 13.
“It’s been 16 great years, but personally and professionally I’ve got other priorities,” Weisfeldt said in an interview with The Durango Herald on Thursday.