Cheyenne Mountain freshman Payton Fielding won the 4A No. 2 singles state title on Saturday at Pueblo, overcoming nerves and a slow start to claim a three-set victory, helping Cheyenne Mountain to their fourth straight team title and 17th in school history.
“I was definitely feeling more nerves than I usually have in a final,” said Fielding, whose older brother Billy finished third in last year's No. 2 boys' singles race. “All the pressure, with my team and school and the pressure of winning state as a freshman, made me more nervous than I had been in a while.”
Fielding was the lone individual champion for the squad.
“I’m happy I could do that as a freshman,” Fielding said. “It still hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
With your height (6-1), have you been recruited by the volleyball team?
I was going to try out for volleyball last fall, but I wanted to focus on tennis this year. I really like volleyball, and I might think about it this coming year, but it’ll take away from tennis.
How long have you been playing tennis?
My dad started me when I was 4 or 5, just for run. I played in my first tournament at 8. My dad (John) is the club pro at the Broadmoor, and it’s awesome having your dad as a coach.
What do you do for fun?
I like to hang out with my friends and pretty much do anything that sounds good during the day, like swimming or going back to my home town of Crested Butte to go hiking.
How long have you lived here?
I was born here, lived here 3 years, moved to Crested Butte and lived there 8 years before moving back here a few years ago.
Do you have any big plans for the summer?
I’ll play as much tennis as I can this summer and start training. I need to get faster. I might get to go to France to play tennis and visit my friends from Denmark. I really love traveling.
It’s a ways off, but have you thought about career goals?
I want to see how far I can get with tennis. If that doesn’t work out, I’d like anything with architecture, interior design and traveling.
Payton could do without quite so much Kelly Clarkson on the radio
Most overplayed artist on the radio
(x) Kelly Clarkson ( ) Katy Perry ( ) Rihanna ( ) Pink
Least favorite food
( ) steak ( ) spaghetti (x) shrimp ( ) chicken
Favorite tennis player
( ) Capriati ( ) Venus Williams ( ) Clijsters (x) Sharapova
( ) English (x) math ( ) science ( ) humanities