The Palmetto Championships, South Carolina’s largest and strongest junior tournament, was played in Belton and Florence between July 11 and July 26. The tournament, which was originally scheduled to be played over Memorial Day weekend, was postponed due to Covid 19 and part of the tournament was moved to Florence due to a lack of available tennis courts in the Belton and Anderson areas. This year’s tournament featured singles only.
Three Hundred entries were received, down approximately 35% from 2019. Matches in Belton were completed on schedule July 11, 12 & 13. Matches in Florence for the younger age divisions were played on July 11, but were then postponed after a tournament official was diagnosed with Covid 19 after the first day of play. The Florence tournament was restarted on July 25 and completed on July 26.
The results of the championship matches were:
- 10U Boy’s: Nathan Purica (Greer) def. Greyson Kane (Summerville) 5-4, 5-4
- 10U Girl’s: Elle Brannon (Florence) def. Emery Combs (Conway) 4-0, 4-0
- 12U Boy’s: Luke Skillman (Mt. Pleasant) def. Everest Kim (Myrtle Beach) 6-0, 6-0
- 12U Girl’s: Katie Godfree (Myrtle Beach) def. Mahaley Swink (Florence) 6-1, 6-1
- 14U Boy’s: Devin Ruhotinja (Mt. Pleasant) def. Logan Tomovski (Murrells Inlet) 6-1, 6-2
- 14U Girl’s: Natasha Kavarana (Mt. Pleasant) def. Margaret Allen (Mt. Pleasant) 6-0, 6-1
- 16U Boy’s: Naihil Kulkarni (Simpsonville) def. Mathew Krusling (Irmo) 6-2, 6-4
- 16U Girl’s: Keira Stewart (Simpsonville) def. Abby Lee (Daniel Island) 7-6, 6-3
- 18U Boy’s: Ian Rasheed (Mt. Pleasant) def. Ashe Ray (Spartanburg) 5-7, 6-3, 10-8
Three sportsmanship awards were presented:
- Malloy Evans Memorial Sportsmanship Award-Andrew Darby (Greenwood)
- Matthew Strange Memorial Sportsmanship Award: Foster Cahill (Conway)
- Kimberly Hampton Memorial Sportsmanship Award: Hanna Holt (Lexington)
Crawford Latham of Columbia received the Dunlop Scholarship.
Belton’s Maggie LeCroy had an outstanding tournament in the Girl’s 14U which was played in Florence. After winning her first two main draw matches she lost to the #2 seed Annie Murrell of Florence in a very competitive match. She came back and won her two consolation matches to finish top 12 in the tournament.
Tournament Director Rex Maynard said: “This was a challenging year, but we are pleased that we were able to complete the tournament. We took a number of precautions to help insure the safety of the players, families and coaches, and things in Belton went off without a hitch. What happened in Florence was unfortunate, but we made it up two weeks later. We appreciate the support and cooperation of the players, the tournament staff and the USTA South Carolina staff. We couldn’t have done it without them!”
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