Ironwood Ridge High School senior tennis player Sara Brown, added to her eight other state championships, by winning the 2013 Division II singles state title on April 27.
Brown beat Christina Oropeza from Nogales High School in both sets 6-0. The championship was played at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.
Taking home a championship is not something new to Brown. Before getting into tennis, Brown competed in gymnastics for eight years where she won four vault and two all-around state championships. Brown says practicing year around and hard work is what enabled her to accomplish the championships. After eight years of pouring herself into gymnastics, Brown became burnt out by the sport.
“I love gymnastics, but it ended up getting to such a high level and I wasn’t as into it or as happy as I was when I first started. I knew if I wasn’t happy in it then gymnastics in college would not be good,” said Brown.
The goal of competing in college for gymnastics may have been diminished, but Brown’s dream of playing a collegiate sport did not. With gymnastics now behind her, Brown decided to try out for other sports and in the end picked tennis. Her list of accomplishments grew as Brown won doubles her freshmen year, the team tennis championship her junior year and, this year, won singles. Brown said hard work and self-motivation are the keys to her success.
“I think being motivated is just the way I am. I just like the feeling of giving everything you’ve got and seeing your hard work pay off,” said Brown. “I think all along that’s what I was taught to do when I was younger so I just kind of kept that going.”
In the fall, Brown will head to Boise State University where she will play tennis on a full-ride scholarship.