Belton Hosts Palmetto Championships
The 59th Palmetto Championships ended on Saturday with 8-and-under competition. The tournament had 440 players, and matches were played on over 50 courts in Belton, Anderson and Clemson. The major part of the tournament was played May 22 - 26 when championships were decided for boy and girls in singles and doubles for 5 age divisions. The 2015 Palmetto singles champions included:
Doubles championships were:
Three sportsmanship awards were presented:
Mercado, Jordan, Stricklin, Mary Grace Armistead and Joch each won titles in both singles and doubles. Jordan won his second Palmetto singles title having won the 12U in 2013 and his third straight doubles title. Armistead won her second straight 12U doubles title and Joch won her 2nd straight 16U singles title. Players from the coast dominated play this year, winning 7 of the 10 singles titles.
The tournament started with 10U singles matches in Belton on Friday, May 22, followed by the first 2 rounds of doubles in the older age divisions. A special party was held for the 10U players late Friday afternoon and a block party for all participants began at 7:00 at the Belton Tennis Center. All 18U players participating in their final Palmetto were honored and the Dunlop Scholarship was presented to Mary Hampton McNeal from Beaufort who will attend Washington & Lee in the fall.
Tournament Director Rex Maynard said: "We were challenged with having enough courts when the bad winter weather put the new Anderson University project behind. That's going to be a wonderful facility and that will help moving forward, but we had to make some changes when we realized we would not have those 8 new courts. We moved the 14U divisions to Clemson University Saturday and Sunday, and that worked out well. We appreciate Clemson helping us out in a time of need, and I think the players really enjoyed playing on the courts at a major university. We were blessed with perfect weather throughout the tournament, and that's really important for us since we are so spread out. Our staff did a wonderful job keeping things running smoothly and within the rules, and the players were great! The courts at Leda Poore Park continue to get rave reviews. That has gone from a facility where nobody wanted to play to one that is most in demand. This is a big event for Belton and Anderson County, and we appreciate everyone's support. It's a joint effort, and everyone has to do their part to make it work. We appreciate our sponsors, especially Chick-fil-A of Anderson who is much more than a sponsor.....they're a true partner that helps in so many ways to insure we provide a top quality event for the players."
Those players who finished in the top 8 of their age division qualified for the Southern Closed Champsionships, which begin this weekend in several locations around the south. Players who do well in the Southern Champsionships will qualify to move on to the National Championships later this summer.
Lauren Harrelson, who lives in Honey Creek just outside Belton, fared well in 10U play. She lost her first round singles match to Brooke Rogers, a #5 seed from Myrtle Beach, 4-0, 4-2 to drop into the west consolation where she won 3 matches:
The tournament ended Saturday with 8U matches. Ten children entered this younger division and each was allowed to play five matches on the 36' short courts using smaller rackets and low compression balls. Following the competition Mary-Catherine Brunson of Belton received the Sportsmanship Award.
More 2015 PC Tournament Information: