Flaherty takes 4th at state

Submitted photo: Micah Flaherty of Fort Dodge poses with his fourth-place medal at boys state tennis on Wednesday.

IOWA CITY — Fort Dodge junior Micah Flaherty has set himself up for what could potentially be a banner senior season.

For the third straight year, Flaherty has earned a medal at the boys state tennis tournament. The No. 4 seed had his highest career finish yet on Wednesday, placing fourth in the Class 2A field.

A year ago, Flaherty was seventh. He placed eighth as a freshman.

“(Wednesday) was a day that showed that I am, competitively, on the same level as all the other players,” Flaherty said. “It’s nice knowing that, going into next year, I can beat anyone.”

Flaherty lost to top-seed and defending state champion Kaden Taylor of Waukee Northwest in the semifinal round, 6-4, 6-1.

Taylor is a senior.

“Micah played really well against the No. 1 kid,” said FDSH head coach Scott Messerly. “He was consistent and right there, really.

“Taylor hits the ball hard. He moves well from side to side, and is tough to handle. He’s the state champion for a reason.”

In the third-place match, Flaherty was edged by third-seeded Anthony Schulte of Cedar Rapids Prairie, 6-4, 7-5.

All four semifinalists were district champions.

Taylor, who won his second straight title, has committed to the University of Denver. Quinn Monson of Waukee — the other finals opponent — will play for Gustavus Adolphus College.

Like Taylor, Monson was a senior. Schulte is a junior.

Taylor beat Monson for the title, 6-4, 6-1. Both Taylor and Monson teamed up as freshmen in 2021 to win the state doubles championship.

“Micah lost the first set (in the third-place match), but was up 5-1 in the second and looking to force a (decisive third set),” Messerly said. “Schulte really turned it on and played well to rally. But Micah was right there with him the whole way.”

Flaherty finishes his junior campaign with an overall singles record of 14-2.

“That third-place match (between Flaherty and Schulte) could very well be the finals next year, with Iowa City High’s Abhay Anil also in the mix,” Messerly said. “Micah had continued to show much improvement. He will keep getting bigger and stronger.”


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