Claire Dibble had accomplished just about everything as a tennis player at Cheyenne Mountain. She crossed the last accolade off her list during the final match of her high school career.
Dibble, a senior, leaves the program with four team state titles, two 4A No. 2 doubles championships and now a 4A No. 3 singles crown.
"It was the best possible conclusion to my senior year and my high school career," she said. "It was especially cool because I finished third last year and was able to come back and win it this time. It made me feel like I accomplished a lot as a tennis player."
Dibble found herself in a familiar position in her semifinals match against Kent Denver's Maeve Kearney. Last year, Dibble lost to a Kent Denver player in the same round, on the same court. This time, she dispatched Kearney 6-4, 6-2 to reach the finals.
Dibble, who was playing through a painful injury caused by torn cartilage in her ribs, had cruised through the first three matches at state, and looked across the net at Valor Christian's Isabella Pacheco in the state final.
For the first time at state, Dibble found herself against the ropes after dropping the first set 6-4. However, she responded like a champion, taking the final two sets 6-3, 6-0.
"I realized that this was my last high school tennis match ever, so I left everything I had out on the court in the second and third sets," Dibble said.
Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams has watched Dibble grow from a girl who won No. 2 doubles state titles as a freshman and sophomore to a champion in singles.
"Claire was a really nice doubles player, but you still have to learn the strategy of singles play," Adams said. "She was great at the state tournament, and she was tough when she got pushed in the finals. A lot of doubles players don't have the skills to transfer to singles, but Claire embraced it."
Dibble was one of three seniors on this year's squad, along with Ally Arenson and Casey Ahrendsen - who won the No. 1 doubles state title together all four years.
The Indians won their ninth straight 4A team championship, taking six of the seven finals titles. The streak is something Dibble and her fellow seniors took great pride in continuing.
"The streak is a good overall motivator," Dibble said. "It was in the back of our minds, especially the seniors, and we wanted to go out champions and make memories. To know we all contributed to the streak is a very special feeling."
Adams was happy to see his seniors go out on top.
"Those three accumulated 11 individual state titles, so that tells you that it's a strong group of kids," he said. "We're going to miss all three of them very much."
Dibble is off to Wheaton College, just west of Chicago, where she'll study elementary education to become a teacher. She won't be playing competitive tennis anymore, but will be checking up on the Indians.
"I would love to come back next year and see them win another trophy," she said. "If they are working hard and putting in time in the offseason like we have in the past, then I can see it happening."