EMPORIA — For McPherson's Nathan Wehrman and Mark Gayer, winning the Class 5A doubles title for the second consecutive year didn't feel as special, but it provided a certain satisfaction that couldn't be denied.
"For me, I felt like I was on cloud nine the first time," Wehrman said. "This go around, I'm just really, really happy. The first one I couldn't believe it happened."
Wehrman and Gayer outlasted Hutchinson's Ben Braun and Ben Fangman on Monday, and Wehrman let out an emphatic yell after the victory.
"I don't think we were as amped up as we should have been in our first set," Wehrman said. "We kind of just went out there and started playing, but after we got that first set... we raised the intensity, definitely."
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The state's top 5A doubles team left Emporia on Monday with a 29-1 record. Braun and Fangman lost in the finals, but helped Hutchinson take home the team title. However, both players admitted that they were disappointed after coming up short in the championship match.
"We got to the championship, and we didn't want to stop there," Braun said. "We wanted to win it. I've been in the finals before. Second is nice, but first is better. They're the best team in the state and they're beatable, but we couldn't get it."
Braun and Fangman were pushed hard in their semifinal match against Topeka West brothers Austin and Andrew Davids and had to pull out all of the stops to come out with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 victory.
"When a lot of these seniors were freshmen we started putting goals out, and we saw that this was a possibility," Hutchinson coach Vance Van Pelt said. "Then two years ago, it really started to coming into reality that we could do this, but it was going to take a lot of work. I guarantee you that these kids put in more than anyone else in the state did."
Braun couldn't agree more .
"That was our goal from the beginning of the year, and our team has won in every tournament that we've been in," Braun said. "It's been like a dream season _ a great year."
Winfield took the third place trophy home thanks, in part, to a strong tournament by Adam Lawrence. He closed out his senior year on a high not by taking out Hickman to take the third place match 6-2, 6-1.