School News

Maharishi School is Class 1A runner-up for third straight year

By Carson Tigges, Ledger sports editor | Jun 01, 2011 

Maharishi School poses with the Class 1A runner-up trophy and banner for the third-straight year after Tuesday’s state tournament in Johnston. Pictured are, from left to right, front row: Derek Thatcher, Brenton Schwartz; back row: head coach Lawrence Eyre, Thomas Weiss, Sam Arsanjani, Raphael Gelfand, Nicolas Martina, Solaris Nite.

JOHNSTON — Maharishi School has never finished worse than third at the Class 1A final four, but a fifth state title will have to wait.

The Pioneers ended up on top of a four-hour marathon semifinal match against Boone Tuesday morning, but paid the price an hour later in the state final, falling to Dubuque Wahlert and finishing as the runner-up for the third straight year.

MSAE’s 14th trip to Johnston tied West Des Moines Valley — Class 2A’s third-place team — for an all-time Iowa record, and Tuesday was the seventh time head coach Lawrence Eyre’s team left as a runner up.

“Our play has consistently been among the best in the state for so many years, and it’s certainly something we have been proud of,” Eyre said.

Tuesday was the seventh-straight trip to the final four and the third-seeded Pioneers kept their record of winning at least one match intact by taking a grueling 5-2 match over second-seeded Boone. MSAE won four of the six singles matches and went to doubles play where Sam Arsanjani and Raphael Gelfand clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 win at No. 2.

Thomas Weiss provided a huge swing of momentum with his 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles. The win was the final match to finish in singles and sent the Pioneers into doubles with a 4-2 lead as opposed to a 3-3 tie.

“It was the leverage point,” said Eyre. “It was a gutsy performance and gave us the big fourth victory.”

Brenton Schwartz tallied the first win of the day at No. 6 singles while Derek Thatcher and Gelfand also won for the Pioneers. Arsanjani had the task of playing the fourth-place finisher from the weekend’s state individual tournament, John Ellis, at No. 1 singles and fell 6-2, 6-1.

The win sent “elated but exhausted” MSAE into the championship match to play a Dubuque Wahlert team that wasn’t to be denied. After steamrolling LeMars 5-1 in the semifinal, the top-seeded Golden Eagles got back on top of the podium with a 5-0 sweep of MSAE.

Wahlert was the winner of six straight Class 1A titles before missing out on the final four a year ago, but came back for more in 2011. It as has now won seven Class 1A titles in eight years from 2004-11 with Waterloo Columbus beating MSAE to win last year’s championship.

The Wahlert lineup was filled with big finishers at Saturday’s state individual tournament in Waterloo including third-place singles finisher Jon Moore and the runner-up doubles tandem of Brandon Schneider and Tom Runde. That trio won singles matches 1-3 and Wahlert also picked up wins at Nos. 5 and 6.

Boone picked up a 5-3 win over LeMars in the consolation match to finish in third place.

Maharishi School finishes another monumental year with a dual record of 9-2 — the only other loss coming to Class 2A runner-up Iowa City West — and in 24 seasons under Eyre, that record now stands at 231-64.

Four members of the 2011 lineup will return for the Pioneers in 2004 including Nos. 1 and 2 players Sam Arsanjani and Thomas Weiss. Raphael Gelfand figures to be back as a junior and Solaris Nite, who played admirably as a freshman, will return for his sophomore campaign.

MSAE vs. Boone

Singles

1. Ellis (B) def. Arsanjani (M) 6-2, 6-1

2. Weiss (M) def. Moklestad (B) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2

3. Thatcher (M) def. McPartland (B) 7-6 (7-4), 7-5

4. Gelfand (M) def. Pomerenk (B) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3

5. Hinds (B) def. Nite (M) 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1

6. Schwartz (M) def. Solomon (B) 6-1, 6-2

Doubles

2. Arsanjani/Gelfand (M) def. Ellis/Pomerenk (B) 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3

MSAE vs. Dubuque Wahlert

Singles

1. Moore (W) def. Arsanjani (M) 6-1, 6-3

2. Schneider (W) def. Weiss (M) 6-4, 6-1

3. Runde (W) def. Thatcher (M) 6-0, 7-5

5. Franson (W) def. Nite (M) 6-1, 6-1

6. Hinz (W) def. Schwartz (M) 6-3, 6-3

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