Sports Shorts for February 17

Indoor track and field state championships

Cuthbertson’s 4x400 girls relay team, comprised of (back row, from left) Mikaela Seibert, Veronica Pfaff, (front row, from left) Nikolete Hurrinus and Raven Covington, won gold at last week’s Class 1A/2A/3A Indoor Track state meet. (Courtesy of Michael Dempster)

The public-school indoor track and field state championships were held Feb. 11 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And though the competition didn’t result in many individual titles for Union County athletes, several teams fared well at the event.

The Cuthbertson girls captured the county’s lone win at the Class 1A/2A/3A meet, when the Cavs quartet of Mikaela Seibert, Veronica Pfaff, Raven Covington and Nikolete Hurrinus combined to take gold in the 4×400 relay with a blistering time of four minutes, 9.24 seconds. The win pushed Cuthbertson to a fourth-place team finish with 37 points, making the Cavs one of three local teams to finish among the top 10.

Monroe led the way, taking second place as a team behind several strong performances, including that of Ladybug Collins, who took second in the 300 meters (40.25 seconds) and third in the 55 hurdles (8.66 seconds); Jamie Glenn, who finished third in the long jump (17 feet, 7.25 inches) and second in the triple jump (38-4.5); and Reneazia Collins, who took fifth in the 55 meters (7.38).

Cuthbertson added to its strong relay performance with several top-five efforts. Individually, Covington also claimed fourth in the 55 meters (7.37) and the long jump (17-7), while Madison Simmons’s time of 11:41.23 in the 3,200 was good for third. Simmons also joined Alex Simmons, Jenna Louis and Hurrinus to take fifth in the 4×800 relay. (10:17.41). Hurrinus also added a fifth-place finish in the 500 meters (1:19.58).

Marvin Ridge took sixth in the girls meet with 26 points. Rachel Dudley, Ailish Dwyer, Nicole Pappalardo and Alden Kessenich claimed second place in the 4×800 relay (9:59.11). Sarah Fell added a third-place effort in the pole vault (11-0), and Kessinich took fourth place in the 1,000 meters (3:11.46).

Marvin Ridge finished third in the boys team standings, fueled by a handful of top-five performances. The team of Carter Pennington, Kendon Corbett, Nicholas Futia and Alec Lane combined to finish second in the 4×800-meter relay with a time of eight minutes, 21.52 seconds, while pole vaulter Ronny Franklin also scored a runner-up effort with a height of 14 feet.

Fellow Mav Drew Buckley took third in the 1,600 meters (4:34.59), and teammate Matt Townsend put the shot 48 feet, 1.5 inches, good for fourth place. Lane took fifth place in the 1,000 meters (2:43.62) and also combined with Futia, Nathan Spitler and William Cottrell to take fifth in the 4×400 relay (3:37.98).

Weddington’s 19 points were good for eighth. The Warriors were paced by high jumper Cole Finch’s second-place effort of 6-4, and the 4×800 relay team of Luke Warner, Matt Burns, Jonathan Bivens and Tanner Glackin, which finished fifth (8:29.85). Cuthbertson’s Matt Russell placed third in the 500 meters (1:07.46), while Monroe’s Brandon Little placed fourth in the 55 meters (5.58 seconds).

Run for the Ridge 5K

The Marvin Ridge Parent Teacher Student Organization will hold the first Run for the Ridge 5K and Fun Run, scheduled for March 24 at 8 a.m.

The race will begin at Marvin Ridge High School, and the 5K track will end at the Mavericks’ track.

All proceeds will go toward classroom technology. All runners will receive a shirt and a raffle ticket. Prizes include a $500 gift certificate from REI and a weekend vacation in Myrtle Beach.

The PTSO is still taking sponsors and volunteers, and there is still space available for runners and walkers. To register, visit or send an e-mail to Terri Patton at for more information.

Maleski and Co. shine at state swim, dive meet

For the third consecutive season, the Marvin Ridge girls swimming and diving team finished second at the Class 3A state championships Feb. 9 at Cary’s Triangle Aquatic Center. But for the first time, the team’s burgeoning diving program played a big role in the Mavs’ success.

As a second-year program, the Mavs divers captured four of the top-10 spots at the state meet and accounted for a robust 53 of the Mavs’ 291.5 points.

Freshman Sara Maleski took top honors with 404.35 points. Teammate Raquelle Pollock finished fourth (265.55), followed by eighth-place Alison DeMarco (217.55) and 10th-place Katie Latham (213.90).

Marvin Ridge coach Laurie Lester said that she could see the success coming last year when she set about putting the program together. In a grassroots campaign, she hung signs and held meetings for students interested in starting the program.

“We really targeted the kids that are gymnasts and cheerleaders and the boys who like to skateboard and do tricks and that kind of thing,” said Lester.

Once Maleski joined the program and began to excel, her success carried over to the rest of the team, said Lester.

“Those girls were excited (last year), but once they saw Sara and what she accomplished at such a young age, they realized they could do the same thing, too,” said Lester, who added that Maleski’s mother, Sharon, was an integral part in guiding the team.

The Mavs also got a boost from a trio of strong relay performances. The Marvin Ridge quartet of Miranda McGaha, Jayne Glanton, Jacqueline Pennington and Lauren Greenberg finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay (three minutes, 39.18 seconds), while Hannah Connelly, Christina Kresser, Abby House and Lexie White combined to finish third in the 200 medley relay (1:54.82).

McGaha, Glanton, Pennington and Greenberg also teamed to take fourth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:42.97). Greenberg also recorded a pair of top-four finishes in the individual events, taking second in the 200 freestyle (1:53.79) and fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:04.38). Fellow Mav Abby House finished fourth in the 100 butterfly (59.70 seconds).

Charlotte Catholic won the girls competition with 496 points.

Marvin Ridge senior Lane Bretschneider was the lone Union County competitor to win an event at the boys meet when he took gold in the 100 breaststroke in 59.92. He also claimed second in the 200 individual medley (1:55.42) and joined Evan White, McKee Christiansen and Kyle Shirley in both the 200 medley relay (1:41.40) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:29.65), with each registering second-place finishes.

White also managed a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly (53.05) and claimed fourth in the 50 freestyle (22.04). Diver Grant Mitro also contributed with a sixth-place effort (249.85 points).

Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons took top honors in the team competition with 275 points, followed by Charlotte Catholic (228) and Marvin Ridge (195).

• The Cuthbertson girls team, which finished eighth with 85 points, was the highest finisher among Union County teams at the Class 1A/2A state meet on Feb. 10 in Cary.

The Cavs were paced by a fourth-place finish in the 500 freestyle by freshman Elle Grier (5:24.24), who also joined Kristin Everhart, Allie Everhart and Kimberley Parnell to finish fifth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:56.55).

In the boys meet, Central Academy of Technology & Arts’ Sam Souther finished fifth in the 500 freestyle (5:09.20). The Cougars finished in 25th place with 21 points.

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