Sports Shorts: April 6

Several stars shine at county track and field championships

by Aaron Garcia and Andrew Stark

While track and field has long thrived in Union County, the 2012 outdoor season is shaping up to be one of the strongest in recent memory. Last week’s Union County track and field championships, held at Marvin Ridge High School, only backs up that notion.

Seven county records fell at the meet, while a total of nine athletes turned in record-setting performances.

In the girls meet, Weddington’s Morgan Garrett broke a seven-year-old record in the 1,600-meter run by finishing in 5 minutes, 22.12 seconds, while Cuthbertson’s Madison Simmons’ time of 11:46.06 in the 3,200 was good enough to break Mallary Price’s standard, which she set last year as a Weddington sophomore. Unfortunately for both Garrett and Simmons, Price also bested each record and claimed first place in both the 1,600 (5:20.52) and the 3,200 (11:39.82).

The Cavs did manage a new record in the 4×400 relay when Raven Covington, Veronica Pfaff, Mikaela Seibert and Nikolete Hurrinus demolished the old standard of 4:10.60 by posting a 4:02.67. Monroe also got into the record-setting action when the quartet of Reneazia Collins, Kendall Cox, Jamie Glenn and Janieyah “Ladybug” Collins finished the 4×100 in a blistering 49.54 seconds. Glenn also broke her own record in the triple jump (set in 2011) with an effort of 37 feet, 5.5 inches.

Cuthbertson earned the overall win in the girls meet with 166 points. Morgan Carlson cleared 5-0 to win the high jump and also teamed with Deja Burks, Seibert and Ariel Worley to claim gold in the 4×200 (1:49.91).

Marvin Ridge narrowly finished in second with 165 points. The Mavs’ 4×800 team of Rachel Dudley, Brittany Fritz, Nicole Pappalardo and Ailish Dwyer took gold in 10:12.13, while teammate Sarah Fell claimed first in the pole vault (11-3).

Monroe finished third (129 points), thanks to six individual wins. Ladybug Collins claimed gold in the 100 (12.43), the 100 hurdles (16.09) and the 300 hurdles (47.66), while Reneazia Collins took top honors in the 200 (25.46). Glenn also added wins in the long jump (16-8) and the shot put (35-5).

Despite the near-win in the 1,600, Weddington’s Garrett helped propel the Warriors into fourth place (77) with a win in the 800 (2:25.48). Fifth-place Porter Ridge (38) received a win from Jaleea Cunninham, whose 92-2.5 effort in the discus was good for first place. Sun Valley’s Rickell Reid won the 400 in 58.29 for the sixth-place Spartans, who tied Forest Hills with 30 points, followed by Parkwood (23), Piedmont (22), Central Academy of Technology & Arts (eight) and Metrolina Christian Academy (six).

• In the boys competition, paced by wins in seven events, Marvin Ridge ran away with the team title with 169.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Weddington (123). The Mavs picked up individual wins by Logan Jackson, who won the 400 in 50.61; Drew Buckley, who claimed gold in the 1,600 (4:32.42); Alec Lane, who finished the 800 in 2:03.40; Ronny Franklin, who’s height in the pole vault (13-6) tied Piedmont’s David Clouse for the win; Jonathan Marino, who soared 21-2.25 to win the long jump; and Matt Townsend, who took first in the discus (133-09).

Nathan Spitler teamed with Jackson, Lane and Buckley to also win the 4×400 (3:30.84).
Weddington took gold in three events. Distance runner Jonathan Bivens, an Appalachian State recruit, claimed first in the 3,200 (10:08.78), and teammate Cole Finch won the high jump (6-4). Bivens also joined Hunter Roark, Tanner Glackin and Luke Warner on the record-setting 4×800 relay team (8:15.36).

Zach Scarboro led Porter Ridge to a third-place finish (88 points) with wins in the 110-meter hurdles (14.93) and the 300 hurdles (40.98). Fourth-place Forest Hills (86) was paced by its first-place 4×100 relay team of Jamael Lotharp, Juwan Crowder, Frederick Kiser and Ja’Keem Little (43.25).

Monroe, which finished fifth (74), claimed four wins, led by Brandon Little, who won both the 100 (10.92) and the 200 (22.17). Little also joined Jaylen Barbour, Tristan Thompson and Jermany Hammond to set a new standard in the 4×200 (1:28.98). Hammond also won the triple jump (43-00). Parkwood’s Matthew Brantley took first place in the shot put (48-9).
Cuthbertson placed sixth with 47.5 points, followed by Piedmont (29), Sun Valley (26), CATA (18), Metrolina Christian (17) and Parkwood (16).

Marvin Ridge girls lacrosse starting strong

The Marvin Ridge girls lacrosse team has begun the season 10-1 and been as good offensively as any squad in the area. In fact, aside from their one loss to Charlotte Catholic on March 15, the Mavericks have scored at least 14 goals in every game they have played.

On April 2, the Mavericks got five goals from Mikayla Sweeney and three from Amy Collins as they defeated Charlotte Latin, 17-3.

The Mavericks’ two senior stars – Collins, who now has 51 goals and 22 assists on the season, and Virginia Tech recruit Sweeney (38 goals, 22 assists) – have led the potent scoring attack all year. Coach Brad Sweeney said he also has received big contributions on offense from freshmen MacKenzie Lancaster (21 goals, 17 assists) and Taylor Sweeney (17 goals, eight assists), while fellow ninth-graders Shaye Stegall and Clare Murphy have been solid contributors.

“We have been really good on offense,” Sweeney said. “We have four or five girls who can score for us, and the freshmen have been big for us. We need to keep scoring goals and we will be fine on that side (of the field).”

Sweeney is tweaking his defensive rotation and has used a different lineup nearly each game. He said although his defense is improving, it is still a work in progress, especially in the backfield.

“We are OK as a whole, but (our players are) not where I want them to be yet,” Sweeney said. “We do have a solid midfield and have been strong in goal.”

Senior goalkeeper Kim Schoenborn leads the Mavericks with 42 saves, but junior Chandler Dey is pushing for playing time and tops Marvin Ridge with a save clip of 68 percent with 34 saves.

One key to the team defense, Sweeney said, has been moving junior Taylor Malseed from midfield to defense. Always an offensive player, Sweeney said Malseed has been on defense for the past seven games and has solidified a unit that needed a demonstrative leader.

With as strong an offense as there is in the area, two qualified goalkeepers and Malseed helping to stabilize the defense, the Mavericks will be a team to be reckoned with and, along with Charlotte Catholic, should remain a favorite to win Conference 8.

Wells Fargo tickets on sale at SouthPark Mall

Tickets for the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship are now on sale at the highly regarded golf tournament’s SouthPark Mall kiosk in Charlotte.

The PGA Tour event will be held April 30 through May 6 at south Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club. All ticket packages will be available at the SouthPark Mall kiosk.

With this option, patrons will save the $10 shipping and handling fees and have the ability to walk away with tickets in hand.

The Wells Fargo Championship kiosk at SouthPark Mall will be located at Center Court, near the escalators. Operation hours will be Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Premium tickets and some corporate hospitality are also available. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the tournament website www.­ or calling the tournament office at 704-554-8101.

Parking at authorized lots, shuttle service to and from Quail Hollow Club and applicable taxes are included in the price of tickets.

To accommodate families, children ages 12 and under are free with a paid adult admission (one child per paying adult).

There are several ground ticket options available. They include:
• Weekly Book for $140. It includes admission to all seven days of the tournament and represents a savings of $75. The same individual does not have to use the ticket each day, allowing family members, friends and business associates to share the experience of the event;
• Practice Pack for $25. It consists of individual daily tickets for Monday’s Pro-Am, Tuesday’s practice round and the popular Wednesday Pro-Am (price includes all three days and fans are permitted to bring cameras during these days);
• Thursday Individual Daily Ticket for $40 each;
• Friday, Saturday and Sunday Individual Daily Tickets for $50 each

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