By Tom LaDue, USTA.com
PNW 7.0 Women's Team - Lea Hawkins, Judy Baston, Margaret Petersen, Terry Boch, Leslie Jensen
© Jen Pottheiser
- Columbia High School from Richland, Washington has something to be proud about this weekend at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 7.0 Super Senior National Championships in Surprise, Arizona.
Five of the women on the Pacific Northwest Section team are all Bombers alum from high school but not the same graduating class. Lea Hawkins was part of the class of 1959, Judy Baston the class of 1960, Margaret Petersen was 1961, Terry Bock in 1962 and Leslie Jensen completes the graduates representing the class of 1963.
“It’s great being here….who would have thought that Columbia High School would be represented at the National Championships,” laughed Lea Hawkins.
What makes this story interesting is that none of the ladies played tennis at their alma matter. They didn’t pick up the sport until later in life when they joined the USTA League program.
“We all remembered each other from high school but USTA Leagues brought us all together,” replied Terry Brock.
If the story was not unique enough Leslie Jensen is one of a few women in the United States certified as a nuclear reactor operator.
“I can’t tell you how much fun this whole experience getting here has been and who would have thought we all would be playing tennis together after not picking it up until later in life.”
“We are just a great bunch of friends who enjoy hitting the courts together, responded Judy Baston. “This is my fifth time back to the Nationals and it keeps getting better and better each time. I loved the player party last night, it was like a reunion.”
The team was looking forward to getting to show some Bomber spirit on the courts as they looked to take the first steps on their way to a National Championships.
“We couldn’t be having more fun here,” Margaret Petersen replied. “Besides us high school gals, the rest of the team is a great group of women to be around.”
Only time will tell if Lea Hawkins will be bringing a National Championship banner back to her 50th high school reunion.
Back to National Championship Homepage