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Athlete of the Week

Lucas reigns on the court

June 16, 2010 - A goal was etched in Kristina Lucas' mind while she prepared and headed to the state finals.

She was going to bring home the championship in Singles #3 like her sister Alyssa. She battled throughout the two days in Midland and came back fulfilling her goal.

"It felt really good," said Lucas. "I was really scared and nervous but excited to win like my sister."

She faced tough opponents including Jennifer Liu from Ann Arbor Pioneer, who she hadn't beat before, and Sara Carlson from Novi, her best friend.

Going against Liu was a long match lasting three and a half hours when both tied with winning one set each.

"Kristina won the last match and it was a good match," said mom, Lisa.

"I always knew I could beat her," Kristina admitted. "I lost to her last year but they were really close matches. When we split sets I was so tired but I had to push myself for another half hour."

Another push were the cheers coming from the sidelines.

"She had really great support from her teammates and parents from Clarkston," said Lisa.

"When I came off I was kind of upset. I was so tired," said Kristina between her sets against Liu. "Mr.(Marc) Spindler came up to me during break and told me to go have fun while I was out there, to try my best and I did. It wasn't easier, but better."

Her sister was also on the sidelines rooting for Kristina.

"She was cheering her on big time," said Lisa. "She told me 'I don't know how you have done this all these years. I feel like I am going to be sick right now. I am so nervous because I want her to win so bad.'"

Kristina also beat her best friend, Carlson. When they intially saw the draw both thought it would be neat if they met in the finals.

"We both wanted each other to win. It was hard to finish it out because I didn't want her to lose but I wanted me to win," said Kristina.

She is now playing for United States Tennis Association before her senior season for Clarkston begins. She is trying to get her Midwest ranking back up.

"I had it really high when I was 14, but then I let it drop because I wasn't playing a lot of tournaments," she said.

She is researching colleges to go to in 2011. Though her grades are already good, she plans to raise them a little higher.

Kristina is also looking for colleges with an art program.

"I like art a lot," she said. "I started late in art but always like it. I would like to go to art school but they don't have tennis.

Kristina has played tennis since she was a little girl. Her dad already played and got her and Alyssa started in it.

"Then my sister started playing tournaments and I started playing tournaments," Kristina admitted. "My sister is now playing in college so I am kind of following in her footprints."

After college she plans to play for fun and not professional.

"It's a cool life, but not for me," she shared.

She also enjoys swimming and hanging out with friends.

"Kristina loves a lot of things," said Lisa. "She has a lot of fun with everything she is doing. She works hard, but she plays hard."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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