by Michael Leach, Fairfield Ledger ----Waterloo—
Maharishi School senior Thomas Weiss had a new teammate but came through with a familiar result at the individual state tennis tournament in Waterloo Friday-Saturday.
Weiss, a four-time state qualifier, claimed his third medal in four tries with a fourth-place finish in Class 1A doubles along with freshman partner Sam Stickels. The Pioneer duo, which entered the tournament seeded first, won two matches Friday to assure their spot in the top four.
Weiss and Stickels posted a first-round 6-3, 6-4 victory over Bishop Heelan’s Kolby Jones and David Breiner, and the Pioneer duo cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kai Brown and Lucas Hunter of Decorah in the second round.
In the semifinals, the two Pioneers fell to Davenport Assumption’s Kyle Gacke and Eric Lammers (4-6, 6-4, 6-4). They then lost 6-2, 6-4 to Brandon Schneider and Tom Runde of Bishop Heelan in the third-place match.
Weiss finished third in 1A doubles along with former Pioneer Derek Thatcher in 2010 and 2011. He qualified in singles as a freshman in 2009.
In singles action, Maharishi School senior Sam Arsanjani was down but not out after one day of play. The Pioneer lost his opening round match to two-time state runner-up Aaron Chalstrom of St. Edmond before rolling off four consecutive wins in the consolation bracket to finish with a fifth-place medal.
Arsanjani’s run included tight wins over Nate Kriegel of Boone (7-6, 6-2), Michael Gabhart of Spencer (6-2, 4-6, 1(4)) and Will Hamilton of Grinnell (6-7(5), 6-4, 1(5)). In a rematch of the district final, Arsanjani also topped Fairfield’s Alexander Punj in straight sets — 6-4, 6-3.
Punj, Fairfield’s lone representative, won his first-round match 6-4, 6-1 against Kolin Brooks of LeMars before losing to eventual fourth-place finisher Pete Walker of Red Oak and Arsanjani. Against Walker, Punj won the first set by a score of 6-3 before dropping the final two sets 6-0 and 6-4. The losses were Punj’s first in 2012.
Maharishi School's full squad is competing for the Class 1A team title today in Des Moines. Complete results from the state team tournament will be available in Wednesday’s Ledger.