Smoky Hill sophomore George Robin returns a serve during the No. 1 singles third-place match at the Class 5A Region 4 boys tennis tournament on Oct. 8, 2022, at Colorado Athletic Club Inverness. Robin won the match in three sets and then won a challenge match to earn a spot in the 5A individual state tournament. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

ENGLEWOOD | Smoky Hill’s George Robin is headed to the Class 5A boys tennis individual state tournament after making it all the way through the back side of the Region 4 bracket.

The Buffaloes’ sophomore No. 1 singles player defeated Air Academy junior Noah Hellem 6-4, 7-6 (0) in a challenge match at Colorado Athletic Club Inverness with a spot in the Oct. 13-15 5A state tournament at City Park on the line.

Robin battled with Regis Jesuit freshman Clay Dickey — the eventual regional champion — before falling in Thursday’s opening round, then defeated Legacy’s Rufus Thompson to reach the third-place match. He prevailed in a three-setter against Bear Creek’s Kaufman Keegan (6-1, 2-6, 6-4) to earn the right to challenge Hellem, who lost in three sets to Dickey in the final.

On the last match of the day, Robin came through against Hellem to end a lengthy drought of representation at the state tournament for Smoky Hill, which hadn’t had a qualifier in at least a decade.

All three singles players for coach Jeff Davis’ Smoky Hill team placed in the top four as freshman Pravinh Jaine and senior Caleb Urlacher placed fourth at Nos. 2 & 3 singles, respectively.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

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