Sports

HHS Wins Tennis State Title; Track Locals Shine

Zach McDaniel ran in the top ten in the 100 and 200 meter dashes in the state meet. He anchored North Henderson’s 4x100 relay that was third in the region. The new grad is shown racing by Asheville Cougars in football.

Greensboro – Hendersonville Lady Bearcats held onto their state tennis champions title last Saturday and locals sparkled in the state track and field events.

Sisters McCullough and Eliza Perry won the state doubles title for HHS. Newly-graduated McCullough is the team’s longtime top seed. Eliza was a freshman. The state meet concluded Saturday in Cary.

HHS shut out all foes to roll to a 10-0 regular-season mark. The Lady Bearcats won the Mountain Six and West Region titles before capturing the state trophy.

Second seed Lindsay Bull will lead the charge for a “three-peat” in 2021-22 as the top returning seed. Eight of 11 on the team are eligible to return. Rising senior Bull and rising junior Ava Heffner were runners-up to the Perry sisters in doubles in the region. Olivia Pursley was second in singles and thereby also qualified for the state meet.

Bull’s father Chris Bull coaches the team. He owns and runs Hendersonville Racquet Club. Jessica Eblen coached the Lady Bearcats for years. She was state tennis coach of the year a season ago. She has a baby as she starts a family. She still teaches history at HHS.

Boyce Shines at State

Several Buncombe and Henderson track and field athletes competed in the state meets that concluded Saturday at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. Medalists include Owen football and basketball star, Daquan Boyce. He was third in the 2A long jump. The new grad’s best mark was 20 feet and 2 1/4 inches. That was over an inch further than his best regional meet mark. Owen’s other state qualifiers were Shavoy Harding and Boyce in the triple jump, Harding in 200 meters, and discus thrower Charlie Hunt.

Most Buncombe and Henderson county athletes were in 3A. Two rivals finished in the top ten in a pair of state sprint finals. West Henderson’s Brendan Henby was seventh in 100 meters at 11.27 seconds. North Henderson’s Zach McDaniel was tenth at 11.36. McDaniel was ninth in 200 meters at 22.54 seconds while Henby was tenth at 22.8. Henby is the regional champ in both sprints. Asheville’s Andrew Burchett did not finish the finals heat. He was sixth in the state in the 400 at 50.28. Roberson’s Zharius Looper was seventh at 50.62 seconds. Reynolds’ Anthony Triplett was 12th in 110-meter hurdles. He was 14th in 300m hurdles while Roberson’s Colyn Sprouse was 12th.

The 3A female state meet had success stories. Three locals made the top ten in the discus throw. Asheville’s Gracie Bolick (110-11) was sixth. Regional shot put champ Linnea Harris of North Henderson was seventh in the discus at 106 feet and 10 inches. Erwin’s Madelinn Romsdahl (101-05) was ninth in discus. Asheville’s Alex Thomas was seventh in 100m hurdles at 16.13. Two Lady Cougars reached finals 100m finals. Malaysia Barber was tenth at 13.03 and Jaliyah Nelson was 16th at 13.23. In the 200m dash, Barber was 12th at 26.83 while Reynolds’ Jenna Barnes 27.24.

Regional Success

Asheville Lady Cougars won the West Region while Roberson Rams sparkled in relays and were second overall to Kings Mountain boys. That meet was at TCR on June 18. Local female regional champs were Reynolds’ Ella Kepple in 1600m and 800m runs, Asheville’s Adelle Williams (3200m), Barber (200m) and Enka high jumper Ashanty Lee. West Henderson’s Emma Hill was runner-up in 100m and 300m hurdles.

Buncombe and Henderson squads dominated relays. Asheville (Majik Finley, Nelson, Emily Leahy, Barber) won the 4×100 ahead of West (Jasmine Banks, Kate Leonard, Raine Wong Chong, Tia Howard) and ACR (Paige Jordan, Siemone Hayden-Gibson, Sara Tilley, Barnes). West (Howard, Hall, Chong, Banks) won the 200 over ACR and AHS (Heidi Gobel, Leahy, Kirsten Latham, Olivia Agan) and NHHS (Bailee Davidson, Diamond Croft, Nieves Jacquez, Justice Twitty). North Buncombe (Eden Barnwell, Callie Dodd, Ruby Blue, Maya Flynn) beat out ACR (Kepple, Anna Laws, Sara Tilley, Cassidy Greene), AHS (Daijah Elliott, Agan, Daidrien Elliott, Barber) and West in the 4×400 relay. The 4×800 crown went to Asheville (Jade Lovio, Caitlyn Elliott, Natalie Nery, Williams) over ACR (Katie Purnell, Laws, Elizabeth Shoop, Kepple).

Local male regional champs included West’s high jumper Derrick Murphy and Henby in 100m and 200m sprints, Burchett ahead of Looper in 400 meters, and Roberson’s 4×800 distance relay. The 4×400 was won by Asheville (Burchett, Christopher Noce, John Goebel, Joshua Foster) over TCR (Omung Chhina, John Floyd, Ryan Chong, Braden Blakely), ACR (Anthony Diaz, Sean Green, Kepple, Kane Morgan) and West (Zander Youmans, Will Robinson, Adley Shelton, Woody Greene). The best-finishing local 4×100 relay team was third by North Henderson (Omarie Flowers, Damarquis McCluney, Javar Jackson, McDaniel).

Reynolds’ Anna Vess set the 3200-meter state meet record time of 10:52.18 seven years ago. It was broken by 0.35 of a second on Saturday. Records that held up include the 1A discus heave of 146-05 in 2013 by Hendersonville Lady Bearcat Hailey Cook.

Polk County is the most local team in 1A. Rising senior Harrison Waddell of Polk won the shotput at state by over two feet with a hurl of 49-02. The
rising senior was fourth in the discus throw. Wolverine Braxton Edwards was third in the pole vault. Lady Wolverine Olivia Overholt was second in 800 and 1600-meter runs. Teammate Alanna Jergensen was sixth in the shot put. Polk boys were seventh in the 4×100 sprint relay. Polk boys were seventh and Polk girls 14th in points among 45 schools. WNC’s sole state team track title was by 1A Swain County.

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