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Sports briefs

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 23, 2002

Tennis-playing teen from Lutz has three-peat

LUTZ -- After a grueling but successful run at a three-peat in the USA Tennis Florida State Junior Singles Championships, Stacia Fonseca has become third Florida player to win 14s, 16s and 18s state titles in consecutive years.

The Lutz teen won the 14s in 2000 at age 14, the 16s in 2001 at age 15 and the 18s Thursday at age 16.

Nine others have won back-to-back different Florida age group titles, but only Chris Evert, 1969, 1970 and 1971, and Lynn Epstein, 1972, 1973 and 1974, have recorded consecutive wins in three age groups, according to the official records of the USTA Florida Section.

The tournament started June 13 in Sanlando near Altomonte Springs and finished Thursday (June 20) when the finals match was called because of constant rain. The championship match was recorded as a tie with dual winners of fifth-seeded Fonseca and first-seeded Cristyn Lucas of Miami.

"I would rather win outright, but a double winner is all right," Fonseca said. "It is a win."

Leading up to the finals, Fonseca won her four matches in straight sets, but Lucas was taken to split sets twice along the way.

Because of all the additional physical strains brought about by the delays, Fonseca strained an abdominal muscle in the semifinals. She hopes to return to competition July 5-11 in the Super Nationals Clay-Court Open at the Evert Tennis Center in Fort Lauderdale. After that she is scheduled for the Super Nationals Girls 18 Championships July 14-21 in Nashville.

"Since there was only one trophy for each championship and in my group we had two champions, I gave the trophy to Cristyn," Fonseca said. "She really seemed to want it and the trophy wasn't that important to me. I actually wasn't even thinking about the record. I was focusing on the match at hand."

Aquatics program designed for fitness, safety

NORTHDALE -- The Bob Sierra Family YMCA is registering students for aquatic classes July 1-11 and July 15-25. Class times vary according to age and skill level. The aquatic program includes swim lessons, competitive clinics, swim club and group water fitness. Classes at the Northdale Boulevard facility are $40 for members. Monthly member fees range from $65 for families to $25 for a youth member. Partnership scholarships may be available based on income. For information, call 692-3220.

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