©Colette Lewis 2009--
This is a special post--the 2000th in the nearly five years of zootennis.com, and being this time of year, it's fitting that it's an announcement of Mary Clayton's commitment to Duke University.
Joining the NCAA team champions in January, Clayton, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., considered Northwestern and Vanderbilt before making her decision to become a Blue Devil late last month.
During her visit to Durham, Clayton observed practice, met with the coaches and took a full campus tour. She went to two classes--music and economics--and talked with several of the players on the team that she had known from junior tennis: Liz Plotkin, Ellah Nze and Reka Zsilinszka.
"I fell in love with campus," Clayton told me this afternoon. "I felt like I was in a fairy tale. I'm really fond of the coaches and the team, and I felt I fit best there."
Clayton, who trains at Saviano's Tennis Academy in Sunrise, is graduating from Edison Academic Center in December. She knew that she wanted to begin at Duke right away, and having lost two seniors to graduation and Mallory Cecil to the professional ranks, the team had positions to fill for the upcoming dual season.
Although Clayton did admit that the Blue Devils' success in May was a factor, she had been considering Duke before the won the NCAA title in College Station.
"It did show that it was a solid team with great coaches," she said.
Clayton is interested in pursuing either political science or psychology, and her tennis goals include another team title for Duke and a chance to match Cecil's individual title.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009