Norman's Michael Grunsted – Driven Athlete of the Month Presented by Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Norman


By John Tranchina

Knowing that he will probably not be playing tennis next year, Michael Grunsted let the pressure go and has enjoyed his senior season much more.

After finishing second in 1 Singles at the Class 6A state tournament last year, the Norman senior felt the heightened expectations at the beginning of the season, but has since adjusted his mindset. That left Grunsted at peace as he prepared this year’s state tournament May 11 and 12, which he qualified for by winning the Bixby Regional tournament on May 7.

“Going into the season, I felt a lot of pressure, but at this point, I’m probably not going to be playing in college, so I’m just trying to have fun,” said Grunsted, who had a 16-3 record heading into state. “Give it everything I have and no matter what happens, I’m still going to be happy because I’ve had a good career, in my opinion. I am proud of myself, which I never thought I’d say. I’m happy with where I am. Whatever happens, happens.”

Grunsted, who plans on attending the University of Oklahoma next year for academic purposes, has still contributed significantly on the court this season, particularly as a team leader.


“Michael is driven, both on and off the court, to be the best person that he can be,” said Norman coach Kelly Stout. “Although Michael, who has a cumulative 4.25 GPA, may lose an occasional match, he is never outsmarted on the tennis court. Besides being an extremely intelligent player, Michael is known as one of the friendliest and kindest players in high school tennis – titles that not many winning tennis players can claim.”

Because of those qualities, Stout named Grunsted one of his team captains in each of the last three years.

“Coach Stout expects everyone to be on task and he asked me for help,” Grunsted said. “Everyone looks up to me, I think, on the team, just because I usually follow Coach Stout and last year I was second at state, so he asked me to be a team captain. I also just like making sure everyone on the team is having fun, that’s like a big thing, because that’s the reason I play tennis.”

As his high school career wound down, he was still looking forward to his future at OU.

“I plan on either majoring in biology or bio-medical engineering, with a pre-med focus,” Grunsted said. “Tennis, maybe I’ll try and walk on, we’ll see. I need to talk to the coach. But if not, I’ll definitely keep tennis in my veins, but I’ll keep it more like a hobby, instead of my life.”