In area USTA amateur tennis, May is tournament month, and Columbus is no exception as Cooper Creek hosted three separate "Banana" tennis tournaments, starting in April and ending in May.
After a six-year hiatus, Columbus Regional Tennis Association reintroduced the "Senior Banana" tournament, and it was a huge success as over 100 competitors signed up in both the men's and women's divisions.
The "Adult Banana" sported a large field of 321 players as well as over 100 players in the 'Junior Banana" being played this weekend.
In addition, local teams from Auburn, Callaway, Columbus and Country club of Columbus will be playing in USTA adult Georgia District championships being held throughout the month starting this weekend in Macon as eight local teams are playing in the state men's and women's 2.5 and 3.5 state tournament.
Competing this weekend at 2.5 women's are CORTA teams captained by Nancy Beach and Georgia Herrera.
In women's 3.5, teams headed up by Alexis Miller and Rashmi Hudson will be looking for the state and in men's 3.5, three local teams captained by Scott Laymon, Mark Thompson and Ted Preston are playing.
On Memorial Day weekend, Willow Creek Tennis Center will host a Mixed doubles round robin for charity all day Saturday, the "Mix up for Life."
Senior Banana Winners
Overall, there were 16 different champions in the senior categories during the final days of April.
The men's singles in age 50s were as follows: 3.0-David Barrett, 3.5-David Arrington, 4.0-Ken Worthington with Lou Cartagena winning the men's 60s singles title.
In the men's doubles the winners were 3.0-Jay Broadwyn-Thomas Harrell, 3.5-Arrington and Rem Houser, 4.0-Luke Moore and Hank Tassin.
In the women's senior singles, the champions were 3.0-Cathy Joseph, 3.5-Linda Samples and 4.0-Delores Hefner.
In the women's doubles, the winners were 3.0-Joseph and Nancy Roman, 3.5-Julie Murrah and Sandy Pirkle, 4.0-Leila Dudley and Kristie Sholtis.
In the mixed doubles category the winners were at 3.0-Barrett and Jaimie Deloach, 3.5-Fred and Pam Burt and 4.0-Richard Hinson and Sholtis.
Adult Banana Open
With 321 total competitors, the champions not only won the chance to compete in the "Big Banana" tournament held each year at Hilton Head later but also won valuable points to play in the KIA "Tournament of Champions" held in Macon.
In singles, the champions in women's were as follows: 2.5-Jamie Smith, 3.0-MaryNell Frick, 3.5-Susan Hutchinson, 4.0-Dawn Harper. In the men's singles there winners were 2.5-Tyrone Lee, 3.0-Robert Knight, 3.5-John Rabon, 4.0-Brad Brooks, 4.5-Michael Stewart, Open-Nemanja Djuric.
In the women's doubles, the titles went to 2.5-Misty Mims-Jo Anna Parker, 3.0-Michelle Human-Alexis Miller, 3.5-Jennifer Edsel-Lisa Neal, 4.0-Stephanie DaSilva-Jackie Fitzpatrick, 4.5-Christy Bates-Jennifer Vasilescu. In the men's categories the winners were 3.0-Justin Bates-Brad Terrell, 3.5-Richard Hinson-Scott Laymon, 4.0-Glenn Davis-Jeremy Jeffery, 4.5-Andy Lowe-Alex Vasilescu, Open-Joe Adame-Djuric.
In the mixed doubles, the titlists were 3.0-Pam and Robert Knight, 3.5-Susuan Pirkle-Mike Wagenti, 4.0-Stephanie DaSilva-Todd Human, 4.5-Katherine Dunlevie-Steve Thiel, Open- Jeri Stewart-Emmanuel Nkoueleve.
On May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., CORTA will be hosting the annual awards and member appreciation cookout.
The association will be honoring both volunteers and officials for their efforts during the year as well as top players and captains in league play for the year 2011-2012.
When Christian Garay made it to the finals of the Bullfrog 18s, he did win one title, that of being the male player with the best sportsmanship for the tournament.
This was the fifth time Garay as captured the sportsmanship award as he did it twice when he competed in the 12s, once in the 14s and once in the 16s when he won the Super Nationals in Tucson, Arizona in 2012.
Kazuki Onoe, who was a finalist in the men's Open Banana, also finished second in the Georgia/Florida championships held in Dothan.
Local player Carlos Arena also placed as he took fourth.