On the first day of Class 4A boys tennis, Mullen did as well as it could do … and it was practically flawless.
Competing at Pueblo City Park, the Mustangs, who qualified at six of the seven singles and doubles spots, advanced everyone into Friday’s semifinals.
In fact, Mullen players won in straight sets in all 12 of their matches.
The Mustangs, who stand in second place with 18 points, trail only Cheyenne Mountain, the level’s regular power that advanced all of its entries in the seven spots and leads with 21. Kent Denver and Niwot, the other teams in the projected four-school race, sit tied for third at 14.
With competitors at two of the three singles spots – Mullen’s Dante Dino couldn’t get through regionals with multiple calf injuries – the Mustangs were thorough through the two rounds.
At No. 1 singles, Mac Caldwell won by 6-1, 6-2 and 7-6, 6-4. And No. 2 George Henry Hanzel advanced by 6-4, 6-3 and 6-3, 7-6.
In doubles, where depth is both tested and displayed, and frequently carries teams to titles, it was No. 1 J.P. Starkey-Tanner Amman rolling by 6-1, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-0; No. 2 Jack Barker-Coleman Guthrie by 6-1, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-3; No. 3 Greg McMullan-Charlie Manta cruised by 6-1, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-0; and No. 4 Luc Caldwell-Kevin McGuire by 6-1, 6-0 and 6-4, 7-5.
Looking ahead, Mac Caldwell will take on Niwot junior Neil Wilcox, regarded as the best player in the field, in the No. 1 singles semifinals and the Mustangs will only have one head-to-head match with Cheyenne Mountain on Friday (at No. 4 doubles), although there will be two against Niwot (Nos. 1-2 doubles).
Matches on Friday will include semifinals and playbacks, and begin at 9 a.m.