One to watch from Boulder is 13-year-old Ashley Lahey, a tennis player who has hit some big milestones of late:
- She made it to the finals at the ASICS Easter Bowl Tennis Tournament in Rancho Mirage, California earlier this spring. One of the most prestigious junior tournaments in the United States, the Easter Bowl has seen finalists including Andy Roddick, Tracy Austin, Donald Young, Sam Querry, Michael Chang, Justin Gimelstob, Jennifer Capriati, Vince Spadea, Chanda Rubin, John McEnroe, Andrea Jaeger, Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, and Harold Solomon.
“This tremendous athletic accomplishment is one of the most significant by a Boulder tennis junior in recent memory,” explains local tennis supporter Richard Leddon.
- Last year, the United States Tennis Association invited Ashley to join their player development program. The USTA provides coaches and training for the top prospective young players from across the country. Ashley now trains full time at the USTA – West tennis center in Carson, California and attends school online in the evenings.
- Right now, Ashley is with a contingent of coaches and players training in Barcelona, Spain. The idea is to train on red clay, gain overseas experience, and interact with players from many cultures. Ashley recognizes this is an opportunity of a life time and has tremendous respect for her coaches and fellow teammates and players.
“Ashley is a good worker with high energy. She loves tennis, and these are all characteristics in her favor to move forward in the sport,” says USTA coach Leo Azevedo, who hails from Brazil and is currently the Lead National Coach at the training center in Carson.
- Ashley is currently ranked in the top 10 country in her age group. She called the Easter Bowl her breakthrough tournament.
Ashley’s Boulder roots run deep. She attended Crestview Elementary and Summit Middle School for 6th and 7th grades. Her mother Pauline credits Summit with teaching Ashley the independent learning skills so important to her success with online education.
Ashley played competitive soccer for the Boulder County Force soccer club (now FC Boulder), as well as YMCA and Panther’s basketball. Her Boulder tennis haunts include the Millenium Harvest House, Ranch Country Club and the Meadows, where she played group and individual programs.
Ashley is very focused at the moment, and working hard toward a big summer on the courts. Don’t worry if you forget her name after reading this article — we’ve no doubt you’ll be hearing it again soon.
*** Ashley’s ASICS Easter Bowl Tournament Results
6-1, 6-2 over Anna Koerner
6-4, 6-2 over Nicole Conrad
6-4, 6-3 over Hada Chang (17)
7-5, 6-3 over Rachel Lim
7-5, 6-2 over Ellie Douglass (10)
6-2, 6-2 over Ryan Peus (9)
3-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss to Jaeda Daniel (3) in the Finals.
For more on the tournament: http://www.easterbowl.com