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In Cross County and Swimming All-State Teams Comprised Of First Place Winners

Note: This article is written for the banquet issue circualted at the 1 p.m. banquet at Sea/wells this Sunday)

In Cross County and Swimming All-State Teams Comprised Of First Place Winners 

From Staff Reports

Columbia—The one aspect of swimming and cross country is there is little subjectivity or debate when the HSSR picks an all-state team based on who touched the wall first in swimming or who sprinted across the finish line in first place in the sport of cross country.

Our 1 p.m. speaker today is Erskine College head cross country coach Dylan Anderson and with the Flying Fleet moving up to Division II in the NCAA scholarships are on the rise in his program. “I have the full 12.4 scholarships available in boys and girls cross country and we are elevating program as we speak,” said Coach Anderson. “We will spread those scholarships out over more than 12 people, but we are building the program and looking for more runners to attend Erskine for the 2019-20 school year.”

Those sounds like beautiful words to any senior runner sitting in the room at Seawells today still hoping to land scholarship aid to run at the next level.

During the 2018 cross country season in South Carolina the SCHSL boys’ team from Dorman, Hilton Head and St. Joseph’s repeated as state champions while Bishop England won a AAA boy’s title.

In SCHSL Girls cross country titles were claimed by Dorman, Daniel, Seneca, and St. Joseph’s.

The AAAAA Boys Runner of the year is senior Dolan Owens of James Island who took top honors in his classification after working back from injuries a year ago. Owens told the HSSR at the meet, “It’ very satisfying, feels awesome,” said Owens. ‘I have put in a lot of hard work to try and get back into form. I am still not all the way back, but I was good enough to win today.”

Alex Zangara of Daniel took Player of the Year honors in AAAA with a top finish and Colin baker of Academic Magnet was the top boy’s runner in AAA. The AA-A Runner of the Year was Noah Ward of Philip Simmons.      

The AAAA boy’s cross country Coach of the Year is Jeff Buys of Dorman. The AAAA Coach of the Year is Max Mayo of Hilton Head with veteran Bishop England coach Tony Colizza taking top honors in AAA. George Carr is the A-AA Coach of the Year.

“We knew we had a strong team coming in but you always hope they perform on the day, and all of them ran really well,” said Coach Colizzi. “I think we were confident. I think I told them that if they ran to their potential that they could win it.”

In HSSR-SCHSL girl’s cross country AAAAA Girl’s Runner of the year went to top finisher Katie Pou of Nation Ford while Ally Wilson of Daniel took top honors in AAAA. Six year running veteran Maggie Rhodes of Woodruff took Runner of the Year honors in AAA while Ava Dobson of St. Joseph’s was the Runner of the year in AA-A.

In SCISA girl’s cross country competition Porter-Gaud repeated as AAA champions while Thomas Sumter earned their first title ever and Laurens Academy won the Class A SCISA championship.

The girl’s SCISA Runners of the year included Jais Ward of Heathwood Hall in AAA, Belia Crowe from AA Thomas Sumter and up and coming 7th grader Belia Thornley took top honors in Class A from James Island Christian.

Porter-Gaud AAA Cross Country Coach of Year Hugh Knight talked about the Cyclones school record set with the win by producing 127 points.  “That’s a school record,” said Coach Knight. “It’s the fastest five girl average in school history and all five scoring runners were in the top 10. So that’s another first for us.”

Other HSSR-SCISA Girl’s Coaches of the Year included AA honoree Rob Coursey of Thomas Sumter and Oniker Kerber took top coaching honors in Class A from Laurens Academy.        

In SCISA boy’s cross country action, the AAA Runner of the Year is Palmer Dayoff of Cardinal Newman. The AA Runner of the Year Hamilton Blair of Palmetto Christian and the Class A Runner of the Year is Ethan Kaufelds of South Aiken Baptist.

SCISA Boy’s Cross-Country Coaches of the Year include Thomas Fisher of Ben Lippen the AAA Coach of the Year along with AA Coach of the year Kevin Sponebery of Greenwood Christian. Josiah Tobin of Holy Trinity took Class A coaching honors for the second time in three years.

HSSR-SCISA Swimming Banquet News

Porter-Gaud and Oakbrook Prep made quite a day of it at the 2018 SCISA state swimming championships on October 13th in Augusta, Georgia.

Both schools claimed state championship trophies in both the boys and girls meets, each repeating as state champions in their respective classifications. Porter-Gaud swept the team titles in Class AAA for the fourth consecutive year. The girls team held off a challenge from Cardinal Newman, finishing with 236 points and securing the title with a win in the final two events.

HSSR-SCISA Co-AAA -Swimmer of the year Elysse Pardus won two gold, setting a state record in the 200-yard free and winning the 100-yard fly. Co-AAA POY Kaila Pardus set a state record in the 100-yard breaststroke and won the 200-yard IM.

HSSR-SCISA A-AA Girls Swimmer of Year Katie Grace Vandergrift of Palmetto Christian won two gold medals, capturing the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke.

In AAA boys, Porter-Gaud’s scored 299 team points winning six individual gold medals. Willem Goedecke, the AAA Swimmer of the Year, set a state record in the 100-yard back and won the 100 freestyle. PG’s Daniel Kassis set a state record in the 200-yard individual medley while also winning the breaststroke. Mike Walsh of Porter-Gaud was named both the HSSR-SCISA Boy’s and Girl’s AAA Swim Coach of the Year for the Cyclones double win.

Oakbrook Prep scored 224 points to win the AA/A boy’s title. Palmetto Christian’s Will Vandergrift won the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke and was named the HSSR AA Boy’s swimmer of the year. Jessi Sullivan of Oakbrook Prep was named both the HSSR-SCISA AA-A boys and girls Swim Coach of the Year for her team’s double wins.

HSSR-SCHSL Swimming Banquet News

For the second year in a row the Eastside boy’s and girl’s swim teams were double winners at the SCHSL AAAA swimming championships at the USC Natatorium pool in October.

The top Eastside female swimmers were HSSR-Co AAAA Swimmers of the Year Cara Bognar (48 points - won both individual events, the 100 fly and 500 free) along with Riley Parker (48 points - won 200 free and 100 free).

 “I think the swimmers and coaches have built an environment where hard work is a daily requirement - both dryland and in the pool,” said Eastside head coach Tiffany Watson, the HSSR AAAA Boy’s and Girl’s Coach of the Year.  who coaches both teams. “The athletes push themselves beyond what they think they can do. We set individual and team goals at the start of the season... so they constantly have goals before them to chase. We also have a very close group that enjoys spending time doing team bonding. They care for one another off the pool deck and share deep friendships. They swim much harder for one another because they love one another and want what's best for the team.”

In AAAA boys Kevin Geist of Hilton Head earned the HSSR Boys Swimmer of the year with wins in the 200 free and 100 fly.

In AAAAA swimming the Wando’s boy’s and girls’ team were double winners as well. Cheryl Durden of Wando is the AAAAA Girl’s Coach of the Year while Allyson Brown of Wando is the Boy’s Coach of the year. The AAAAA Boy’s swimmer of the year is Mike Junegel of Riverside while Aubrey Chandler took top honors among AAAAA girls’ competition.     

In AAA Christ Church won the girls competition and Cavaliers swim coach Matt Jacobsen is the AAA Coach of the Year. The AAA girl’s swimmer of the Year is Kendal Chunn of Oceanside Collegiate St. Joseph’s dominated the AAA boys swim title and the AAA Swimmer of the Year is Silas Crosby and their coach Becky Van Evera is the Coach of the Year.   




© 2017 High School Sports Report

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