Over the weekend in the Spring Fling, several athletes hit some high notes, others had personal bests, but Christian Waddey soared off the charts.
Before he walks down the graduation line Thursday, the Montgomery Bell Academy senior saved his best for last with a whopping 15-11 pole vault in the state track and field meet at MTSU last Friday.
The vault broke a state record, and was 10 inches better than his previous personal best, a 15-1 leap in regionals earlier this month.
Waddey, a Virginia track signee, broke the ’02 record of 15-10¾, set by Michael Hogue of Houston High.
“For state, I used a bigger pole,’’ Waddey said. “And I started dropping my shoulders a little quicker than before. I watched some film, picked up a couple of things, and I felt really good on competition day.’’
Waddey took a shot at 16-2, which would have been the all-time best leap in state history (16-1¾ is the best, but state records aren’t recognized unless they are performed in the state meet). But he missed on his three attempts.
“My first attempt was really close,’’ Waddey said. “I had the height, but I was a little too far out and I clipped the pole on my way down,’’ said the wiry 5-9½ Waddey, whose older brother Alex won the 1991 Moss-Oliver award.
Summing up his season, Waddey said, “it was very rewarding to see all the hard work and preparation I put into it pay off at the end.’’
ROGERS SMOKES FIELD: Lipscomb junior Zach Rogers was part of 40 points as he helped lead David Lipscomb to the boys Class A/AA championship. The Mustang comet easily won the 100 and 200 meter races. He ran the fastest time in any of the three classifications at the MTSU track to give him the title of the state’s fastest sprinter. He also won the long jump at 23-7 and anchored the winning 4X200 relay team.
Coach Tim Taylor’s Lipscomb team scored 93½ points, more than double Chattanooga Brainerd, with 46.
VAUGHN SHINES: Chris Vaughn helped propel the Brentwood Academy tracksters to their 16th state track title and sixth DII crown in a row Friday by easily winning the 200 and 400. The Indiana signee helped the Eagles edge runner-up Baylor, 117-108.
Brentwood High gave the Nashville area a sweep of the three boys titles Friday. The Bruins were led by Sean Keveren, who scored 26 points, sweeping the 1600 and 3200 runs and was third in the 800.
Also, CPA’s Ryan Cook returned from a disappointing region to win the state A/AA pole vault at 14-0 and Ryan’s Kevin Carney won his specialty, the high jump, at 6-6 in DII.
GOODPASTURE SWEEP: For the second straight year, Goodpasture swept both the Class AA softball and baseball championships.
The baseball team won its seventh overall with a 10-0, six-inning, 10-run rule win over Lipscomb before almost 2,000 fans at Lipscomb University. The softball team stopped Knox Gibbs 4-2 for a record-tying sixth straight crown. Both teams went undefeated in tourney play.
For junior Cody Lane, he could visualize the championship setting. “Before the game started, I thought about the dogpile (players jumping on top of one another in celebration just after the game ended). It was awesome.’’
Lane, who ended the game with his two-run double in the bottom of the sixth, is hoping he can repeat the setting once more in his senior season.
Lefty Adam Adkins ended his brilliant high school career with a four-hit shutout. He finished 12-0 and never lost a game in high school play. Adkins, who suffered a broken right wrist, was cleared to play only the morning of the game by his doctor.
“It was a little painful, but I just toughed it out,’’ he said. “I’m playing for the best team in the state, and I knew they’d score some runs for me.’’
“We had won six titles, but never two in a row,’’ said coach Richie Estep, who has guided the Cougars to three of the championships. “That was their goal all season.’’
Devon Schmidt added her name to that of Danielle Pieroni (now at UT) as almost un-hittable pitchers for Goodpasture. Both are part of the chain of the Goodpasture softball title run.
On Thursday, Brentwood Academy’s baseball team won a double-header over Baylor to win the DII championship at Lipscomb. The surprising Eagles were the No. 3 team in the Middle Region before storming out of the losers bracket with four wins in two days at state to claim the crown.
DA STORYLINES: Davidson Academy’s girls bounced back from their one loss in the DII-A softball tournament with a 2-1 win over SBEC as Ainsley McCullough pitched a seven-hitter, striking out seven. McCullough, who is the Bears’ only senior, had to miss graduation ceremonies. But McCullough, decked in cap and gown, was presented her diploma inside the pitcher’s circle after the game as teammates sang Pomp and Circumstances.
DA lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to Harding Academy in the finals of the DII-A baseball tournament. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh with two out and the score tied 3-3, Spencer Harp walked Fletcher Parker on a 3-2 pitch to end it.
Coach Jim Carter ran out on the field to console his disappointed junior pitcher. “I remember a few years ago, Brentwood Academy beat Unicoi County in the state finals on a close play, and the Unicoi coach ran out and consoled his player,’’ Carter said. “That had an indelible impression on me. Spencer pitched his heart out and gave it his best.
“We’re normally a good hitting team,’’ Carter said, “but in 29 innings at state, we only had three good offensive innings. We finished 34-9, we lose three seniors, and we’ve got a really good nucleus coming back.’’
SOCCER: Brentwood High became one of the few teams in state soccer history to finish undefeated when the Bruins edged Houston 1-0 to win the AAA title on senior Tom Hommany’s goal. Senior Jordan Leedle racked up 20 shutouts this season. BHS (24-0) is ranked No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. The Bruins shut out their last 11 opponents.
Father Ryan won the DII-AA championship with a 2-1 win over Christian Brothers in a game decided on penalty kicks. Senior Charles Rodrigiez booted in the winning goal.
Ryan senior goalkeeper Josh Phillips made a key save, setting up Rodriguez’s winning kick. The Irish (16-1-2) collected their third boys title, winning in ’98 and ’05. Several seniors were on that team three years ago.
TENNIS: University School of Nashville was the only Nashville school to collect a team title, that coming when the Tiger boys edged Davidson 4-2, clinching on a doubles win by Sreyas Reddy and Alex Metzman.
Centennial junior Ian Chadwell won his third straight AAA singles title. Brentwood’s Laura Stack-Ashley Hopmeyer won the girls AAA doubles crown. USN’s Caroline Awh-Jillian Berkman won the DII-A doubles. Berkman graduated Sunday.
RYAN’S GRAHAM CLASSIC: The second Lou Graham Golf Classic, supporting Father Ryan High, tees off Saturday, June 7 at Champions Run Club. The event, which honors the ’56 Ryan grad who won the ’75 U.S. Open, will raise funds for the school’s tuition assistance program. Sign up at www.fatherryan.org or call the alumni office, 269-7926.