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Prep tennis: 5A delayed; Academy boys finish another dominant run

While Albuquerque Academy’s boys and girls won Class 1A-4A team state tennis championships on Saturday, the Class 5A brackets will require another couple of days to be resolved.

Lightning and rain forced the New Mexico Activities Association to move both 5A finals – Sandia’s No. 1-seeded girls versus No. 6 Albuquerque High, and La Cueva’s top-seeded boys against upstart No. 11 seed Eldorado – to 4 p.m. Monday at the Jerry Cline complex.

The boys match had just begun, the girls had yet to start, when the decision was made just before 9 p.m. Saturday. Weather issues both Friday and Saturday made it impossible to complete the 5A team competition on Saturday night.

Not that the 1A-4A brackets were immune from disruption. The Academy boys, who on Saturday won a state championship for the 17th straight year, began their final against No. 2 seed New Mexico Military Institute at the Academy courts.

But rain forced the teams to move to Jerry Cline, where the match concluded.

Academy completed another startlingly dominant season; the Chargers went 19-0 in team dual matches, and on Saturday they didn’t drop a single set in any of their three team matches.

Officially, Academy beat NMMI 5-0 in the final, led by Coleton Hootman, Hunter Hootman, Abraham Yohannes, Graham Collis and Jack Hubbard. Those five swept their singles matches, and once the Chargers reached five victories, the blue trophy was theirs again.

“It really does still feel fresh,” Academy coach Ray Jaramillo said, because it’s always new kids.”

Jaramillo believes the Chargers have the longest current championship streak of any tennis program in the country.

Earlier on Saturday, Academy blanked Lovington 5-0 in the semifinals and Los Alamos 5-0 in the quarterfinals.

The Academy girls, seeded second in 1A-4A, were every bit as outstanding, defeating No. 5 St. Michael’s 5-0 in the 1A-4A final, which was moved from Academy and played at the Ventana Ranch courts on the West Side.

“The most rewarding thing is to see how happy the girls are,” Chargers coach Amy Badger said. “There’s always that desire to be able to execute, and they executed in grand style today.”

Rachel Homan, Stella Mahr, Dana Baca, Ava Badger and Catie Lacey clinched their singles matches to lock up first place for the team. Academy had beaten Mesilla Valley 5-0 in the semis and Bosque School 5-0 in the quarters earlier in the day.

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