Former McCallie School standout Sean Ryan, now swimming for the University of Michigan, won his 1500-meter freestyle heat Thursday in the World University Games at Kazan, Russia. The Hixson resident representing the United States had the second best time in the four heats. Former Baylor School swimmers Bria Deveaux and Evante Gibson also are taking part in the Games, representing the Bahamas. Deveaux, a rising sophomore at Nebraska, was in the women's 50 butterfly and also is entered in the 100 fly, the 100 and 50 backstrokes and the 100 and 50 frees. Gibson, a junior at Queens University of Charlotte, was in the 100 breast and 50 fly and also is set for the 50 breast, the 100 fly, the 100 and 50 frees and the 200 individual medley. Another former Baylor swimmer, Brandon Lord of the University of Georgia, competed in track and field and finished fourth in the men's 10,000-meter run earlier in the week in Kazan. The state cross country and track champion at Baylor is representing Canada, and his 29:12.90 time was a personal best. Stephen Mokoka of the Republic of South Africa won in 28:45.96, and Russians were second and third. "We could not be prouder of these fine alumni," Baylor swim coach Dan Flack said of the former Red Raiders. "These three are great people who will certainly bring honor and pride to their countries and schools at the World University Games."
• Baylor School teammates Blakesly Warren of Chattanooga and Lauren Johnson of Signal Mountain finished first and third Thursday in the Tennessee Girls Junior Amateur at Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club in Gallatin, and Baylor's Katherine Holmes, Ooltewah's Samantha Griffith and St. Andrew's-Sewanee's Jenna Burris tied for sixth at 224. Warren won by four shots over Knoxville's Teleri Hughes with a 2-under-par 214 after a final-round 67. Johnson, who had a 69 second round in the rain-plagued event, totaled 219. Manchester's Ashley Gilliam and Signal Mountain's Bethany Burns were sixth and eighth at 240 and 247 in the 10-14 age group.
• Two-time champion David Noll Jr. of Dalton took a two-stroke lead in the 92nd annual Georgia Amateur Championship golf tournament Thursday with a 4-under-par 67 in the first round Thursday at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, and Calhoun residents Chad Wilson and Sam Curtis are in a five-way tie for fourth at 70. David Watts of Cleveland, Ga., and Zachary Healy of Peachtree shot 69s.
• Recent Hixson High School graduate Kaleigh Riley signed scholarship papers Thursday afternoon to continue her softball career at Tennessee Temple University. The left-handed batter and thrower played catcher for the Lady Wildcats and batted .306 with a .447 slugging percentage this spring, but Temple coach Randy Crawford saw her at a recent summer tournament in Crossville. She plays for the Chattanooga Mystics. "I was needing another catcher, and I needed another strong left-handed batter, and that's what she is," Crawford said. "She's also a good Christian girl, so she's a good fit in that way, too." Mystics coach Travis Hale is an assistant for Hixson and said Riley "did a great job for us catching throughout the high school year and this summer, and her bat's come alive. She brings power to the lineup." Hixson head coach Jayme Putman pointed out that Riley was a catcher three of her four high school years but showed versatility by playing center field as a junior. "The big difference this year was her maturity as a senior leader, and her work ethic and that 'want to,'" Putman said. "She has the attitude that 'No matter how good I am, I can always get better.'" The Lady Wildcats finished second in District 6-AA, and Putman noted that late in one district game Riley kept Hixson close by picking off one runner and throwing out the next one stealing. "Temple is close to home and I get to play a sport," Riley said. "I love Chattanooga."
• Chattanooga Junior Rowing members Connor and Quinn Nash competed the last two days at the USRowing Club Nationals in Camden, N.J., and made the 18-boat semifinals out of 37 boats in the pair competition. They in fact earned the 18th spot with a time of 7:13.52. The top two from each six-boat semifinal heat Thursday qualified for the finals, and the Nashes were fourth in their heat three weeks after switching back to sweep rowing following three years of rowing in sculling boats. "Their performance bodes well for them in the coming year," CJR director Jack Fish said.
• Soddy-Daisy High School recently won the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target state championship for the second year in a row and will take part in the national competition next week in Sparta, Ill. Soddy-Daisy won the overall and varsity three-man titles in the state event, led by individual champion Paxton Pelfrey with a 97-of-100 performance and runner-up Sheldon Rodgers with a 96, and the school's Erica Dunn was the female varsity individual winner with a 90. Pelfrey, Rodgers, Dunn and Cody Hedgecoth earned all-state-team awards for a combination of shooting skill and academic achievement.
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