Wellington finishes the season as State Runner-Ups, 5 Crusaders place in the top-10 in the 4A Tournament

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Left to right: Brian Aufdengarten, Jensen Lynnes, Kadynce Aufdengarten, Ashlyn Gerten, Lyric Cornejo, Kami Reichenberger, Daphne Adams

The Wellington tennis team had high expectations for themselves this season and they did not miss. 

Before the season started, the Crusaders understood they had tough competition but had their eyes on finishing top-4 in their league.

Not only did the Crusaders finish top-4 in their league, but they also won the 4A Regional in El Dorado, then they went to the KSHSAA 4A State Tournament and took home second place. 

The Crusaders sent five girls to Winfield for the two-day state event. All five were able to advance to Saturday, earn themselves a medal, and help Wellington earn points for their team score. 

The most points came from Wellington's top duo of Jensen Lynnes and Lyric Cornejo. 

They were able to earn Wellington 11 points as they started the day with a tough matchup against McPherson's top duo. The Bullpups would go on to defeat Wellington in two sets. 

Lynnes and Cornejo would go to the third-place match, which would be a rematch against Wichita Trinity's Dunne and Majors from the regional tournament in El Dorado.

The Wellington duo couldn't get revenge against the Wichita Trinity pair this time, but they secured a fourth-place finish. 

Lynnes and Cornejo were the only players from Wellington in contention for an individual state title when the day started, but their teammates had an important role to help score points for their team.

Wellington's top singles Kami Reichenberger was playing for fifth place, but after a loss to Wamego's Sarah Jones, she headed to the seventh-place match against McPherson's Riggs Kuhn.

Reichenberger gave it her all, but Kuhn was able to win the match. This gave the Crusaders an eight-place finish and seven points for the team score.

Wellington's No. 2 duo Ashlyn Gerten and Kadynce Aufdengarten was also playing for a fifth-place finish at the start of Saturday. 

They weren't able to win their first match against the Buhler duo and had to go to the seventh-place match to play Topeka-Hayden's duo.

Gerten and Aufdengarten battled in the match but got Wellington another eighth-place finish and seven points for the team score.

McPherson ended up winning the event with a total of 44 points, but Wellington finished as the runner-up with 22 points. Topeka-Hayden finished in third place with 22 points.

Wellington had a sensational year; however, it gets better for the Crusaders. All the girls who attended the state tournament will be back for Wellington next year.

Lynnes, Reichenberger, and Gerten will return as seniors, Cornejo will return as a junior, and Aufdengarten will return as a sophomore. Crystal Ramirez, who just missed qualifying for state, will be a senior next year.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.