CHICAGO — Sam Fleming and Arjun Asokumar made history while adding to University of Chicago Laboratory Schools' illustrious history in winning the IHSA tennis doubles state championship Saturday.
Fleming, a junior, and Asokumar, a freshman, claimed U-High's first doubles state title in 90 years. Don Goodwillie and Paul Stagg — son of legendary football player Amos Alonzo Stagg — won a doubles state title in 1927. The Maroons also triumphed in state doubles in 1924 (Joe Hitt and future Wimbledon champion George Lott) and in 1914 (Allan Loeb and Harold Beecher (H.B.) Taylor).
“Winning the fourth doubles tennis state championship, 90 years after our third one, exhibits the deep history and tradition of our athletic program and highlights the skill and talent of our current student athletes," athletic director David Ribbens said. "Athletics was important then and it remains important now.”
Fleming, of South Shore, said his and Asokumar's goal all season was to win state.
Asokumar, of Downtown, said bringing a doubles tennis state title to U-High for the first time in 90 years was "huge."
"It is so fun to play with Sam and I'm so proud of both of us," Asokumar said.
The doubles team finished 15-0, including a 6-0 record at the state 1A finals. U-High's coach Dawuad Talib, whose team finished fifth overall at state, said the doubles squad's victory was "significant."
"It was wonderful to see Sam and Arjun work together to become a great doubles team and then to see them reap the rewards of all their hard work," Talib said.