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Meyer stays strong through back-to-back brackets

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:11 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:12 a.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Avery Meyer, 12, returns a shot while playing mixed doubles Tuesday afternoon at the Emma Hubbs Tennis Classic.
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Lucas Healy, 10, returns a shot while playing with mixed doubles partner Avery Meyer.

DIXON – Avery Meyer drank a lot of Gatorade Tuesday.

By the time the sun was on its decent in the sky, the red Gatorade Meyer continued to bring up to her mouth for a drink was lost against the redness in her face, like a chameleon blending to its surroundings.

Meyer had a busy day. The 12-year-old competed in two brackets, back-to-back, during Tuesday's second day of the 24th annual Emma Hubbs Tennis Classic at Page Park.

She put her tennis shoes to the test as she played for more than 5 straight hours. She first competed in the 15-and-under girls singles bracket, and finished in second place against some girls who are already in high school. She won a total of 24 games, while Anna Ivarson was solid throughout and earned first place with 37, losing only three games.

"It was pretty scary," said Meyer, who will be entering the seventh grade at St. Mary's in the fall. "It was a lot of fun, but going up against some people that are a lot older and have played in high school made me really nervous going in."

Once Meyer wrapped up play in the singles bracket, there was little time to refill her drink and catch her breath, before trotting out onto the court once again to compete. This time it was the 13U mixed doubles bracket that had waited for her to finish her singles games.

"I had no time to rest," she said. "But, the whole place was delayed for me, so that was funny."

Meyer teamed with 10-year-old Lucas Healy for doubles. The two played as doubles mates a handful of times in past tournaments, and started playing together last year after they became friends through tennis lessons with Emma Hubbs.

Healy, who has more energy than a thunderstorm, ran around vacant courts and practiced his shots while waiting for Meyer to finish singles. His face nearly matched his partner's in redness once it was time to compete.

His mind is also full of energy. He really enjoys science class and, at the age of 10, he is already mulling between which college he should attend.

"University of Florida to be a Gator," he said with a chop. "Or Iowa. I really like the Hawkeyes."

"He just has so much energy," said Hubbs, as she watched him chase down a ball. "He is always running around at top speed and, when he can focus it, he is something."

His energy lasted for a while Monday. As the last group was finishing up play Healy stuck around to play tennis as long as his parents would let him stay, even though half of the lights were turned off and he was playing in the dark.

It was around 9:30 p.m. when Healy finally gave it up after barely being able to see. Seeing Healy out on the courts playing in the dark didn't surprise Hubbs, who has known Healy since he was taking lessons from her since he was in the tots age group.

"When kids are passionate about something," Hubbs said, "It's what you love to see."

So it was fitting that he brought that energy when teaming with Meyer, as the two cruised through the mixed doubles bracket to a first-place finish.

"I just love tennis," Healy said. "It keeps you moving all the time and I'm always moving."


Avery Meyer

School: Entering 7th grade at St. Mary's

Favorite subject: English

Other activities: Volleyball, basketball, dance

Lucas Healy

School: Entering 5th grade at Reagan

Favorite subject: Science

Other activities: Basketball, soccer, baseball

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