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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa – After years of living in the shadows of former champions Kyle Sprow and Arlo Taylor, Donovan Tracy stepped into the sunshine of Okinawa Activities Council district singles tennis tournament title glory.

Tracy beat Kadena teammate and doubles partner Scott Vogel 6-3, 6-2 in Monday’s championship match at Risner Tennis Complex, then pronounced himself ready to make a deep run at next week’s Far East Tournament, also at Risner.

“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be,” said Tracy, a junior who will transfer to Las Vegas in December. “This feels really good. All the hard work I’ve done over the years has finally paid off.”

With Tracy’s boys singles title and Erika Youngdahl repeating her girls championship, Kadena swept all four gold medals in both the district doubles last Thursday and the singles.

Youngdahl, a two-time Far East semifinalist, beat freshman Panthers teammate Alex Howard 6-2, 6-1 for the gold. Youngdahl had been expecting to meet Howard’s older sister Kristen for the title, but Alex, a freshman, upset sophomore Kristen 8-5 in the semifinals.

“That was really surprising,” Youngdahl said. “It’s hard playing your sister. I know I wouldn’t want to play mine.”

After two heartbreaking Far East semifinal losses, Youngdahl says she’s ready to make amends. “I’m going to give it my all and see what happens,” Youngdahl said.


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