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Porter Gaud High School
Charleston

Porter-Gaud begins raking in state titles in spring sports

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

CharlestonPorter-Gaud is once again making a strong statement as the top athletic program in SCISA this spring.

In the span of 10 days, Porter-Gaud claimed three state championships in spring sports and will be strong contenders for a few more before the playoffs are complete.

Porter-Gaud captured state titles in girls’ lacrosse, boys tennis and boys track recently, with soccer titles still to be decided. In addition to the championships, the boys’ lacrosse team finished as the state runner-up, as did the boys’ golf team.

The girls’ lacrosse title was the school’s first and the first-ever in SCISA. The state had only two sanctioned teams in SCISA and Porter-Gaud topped area rival Ashley Hall, 20-8, in the championship game played at Porter-Gaud.

Sophomore Becky Van Kirk scored seven goals in the title game. Ashton Kennington added five goals and Olivia Varner chipped in four goals. The Cyclones finished 10-3 on the season

“This is the best that we have played against Ashley Hall,” Porter-Gaud coach Becky Williams said. “We really thought this would be a lot closer match today. The other two times we played were very competitive. We played very well today. Possession off the draw was really good today. Our midfield played great.”

The boys’ lacrosse team came up short in their bid to win a second state title, falling to Hammond, 10-6, in the final. Porter-Gaud beat Hammond twice during the regular season. The Cyclones finished the season with a 9-5 record.

“They came out very aggressive and took it to us,” Porter-Gaud coach David Scully said. “Give them credit. They played well. We didn’t play our best game but we fought hard. We had a great season but it hurts to lose the last one. I am proud of our kids. They showed up for all 38 practices and competed well against a tough schedule.”

Stockton Fair scored two goals in the championship game. Kevin Marshall, Reid Marion, Will Farrell and Andrew Jones added goals.

The boys’ tennis team won its third consecutive SCISA AAA state championship, breezing to a 5-0 win over Cardinal-Newman. Porter-Gaud topped Hammond, 6-0, in the semi-final round.

The championship was Porter-Gaud’s 17th in the last 23 seasons.

Leading the way was number one singles performer Brant Fenno, followed in the singles ladder by Manning Snyder. Malone Vingi played three singles and Alex des Francs played four singles. Jack Kammerer and Lucius Harvin rounded out the singles at fifth and sixth, respectively.

The boys’ golf team finished as the state runner-up to Hammond in the SCISA AAA state golf tournament. The event, originally scheduled for 36 holes, was scaled back to 18 holes due to weather. Hammond won the tournament with a team score of 307, 10 strokes ahead of Porter-Gaud’s 307.

Kent Lawrence led Porter-Gaud’s effort with a 72, earning all-state honors. Jack Friedman shot 76 and Willis Rogers shot 78. Hale Kilborn and Charles Hartsock each shot 81 for the Cyclones.

The boys’ track team won its seventh consecutive AAA state championship with a balanced, team effort. The state meet was held on May 6th at Porter-Gaud.

“It took a total team effort and the guys stepped up today,” coach Hugh Knight said. “It’s never easy. Wilson Hall was really good and we knew it would be a battle. Fortunately, our guys responded well. It’s really special when guys step up and we did across the board today.”

The top performer for the team was senior distance runner Judah Ellison, who won gold in the 1600 and 3200 and took second in the 800. Ellison also ran a leg on the championship 1600-meter relay team. He was joined on that unit by Michael Doyle, Ed Sessions and Legend Waring.

Gray Eubank won the state championship in the discus and was third in the shot put. Michael Psenka was second in the pole vault while Sessions was second in the 200-meter dash. Amir Smalls was second in the discus and Waring finished second in the 400.

The girls’ track team finished a strong third in the AAA team standings. Senior Maggie Berlin captured gold with a win in the shot put. Summer Boyd was second in the long jump while placing third in the 100-meter dash and the triple jump.

 Riley Psenka finished second in the 400 and Simone Handfield was second in the 400-meter hurdles. The 1600-meter relay team of Psenka, Handfield, Jasmine Smith and Nelle Alexander won the state championship, as did the 3200-relay team of Taylor Cristo, Smith, Bryce Marion and Ellen Nirenblatt.

 

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