Jeff McNally of Knoxville rode a souped-up 1968 Pontiac Firebird to the $5,000 top prize Saturday night in the 4.70-second class at the Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. McNally's 4.72-second final dash at 152.25 mph edged by inches another Knoxvillian, Ossie Newcomb, in a 1969 Camaro Z-28. Jerry Bryant of Ringgold won the 6.00 class in a'67 Chevy Nova with a 6.01 run, and Jim Brackett from Etowah was second. Shane Moses was first with Jason Young second in the 7.00 class, and Justin Tipton won the Super Pro class with Chuck Oren the runner-up. Strip hall of famer L.C. Bigham won the Foot Brake class with Edwin Willis second. Steve Crouse and Jarret Hicks were first and second in the 275 Street class; Marcos Wooden and Shawn Bryson were one-two in 275 Outlaw; Justin Moore and Tyler Dennis were the top two in Junior Dragster.
• The Ringgold-based Georgia Attitude won the U.S. Fastpitch Association 16-under girls' national championship Saturday at Panama City Beach, Fla., with players from five northwest Georgia counties and eight area high schools. The Attitude finished second in the USFA state tournament last month in Carrollton, but whereas the Savannah team that won the state lost its first two games in the nationals, coach Billy Gee's team outlasted 65 others at Panama City Beach. The Attitude swept their pool and made the Diamond Final 8 and Saturday beat the Kentucky Outrage 6-3 in the winners-bracket final. The Outrage defeated the Oklahoma Intensity in the losers-bracket final and then gave the Attitude their only loss of the tournament, 2-0, but had to beat Gee's whizzes again and lost 4-3 in the final. "I'm extremely proud. The girls worked hard every day and they came to play," Gee said Monday. "They went on a mission, and they did what they went down there to do." The champion players were Katie Dempsey, Shelby Epperson, Macayla Ginn, Kara Headrick, Lacey Loy, Shelby Ralston, Chyanne Revis, Mallory Souther, Samantha Stafford, Tori Townson and Rachel Williams. Other coaches were Nick Townson and Rick Ralston.
• The Chattanooga RBI 13-15 girls' softball team reached the regional final in St. Louis but lost that game 9-8 in 10 innings to the St. Louis representative Monday morning. Chattanooga, with some girls who never had played organized softball before May, wiped out an 8-4 deficit to tie the game in the seventh inning but fell just short of reaching MLB's RBI World Series. This was the furthest a Chattanooga RBI team has advanced.
• Two former Tennessee Temple University wrestlers from local high schools are coming back to TTU to resume their careers: 26-year-old Garrett Reagan and 22-year-old Dakotah Young. Reagan was a three-time state qualifier who went 142-29 for Lookout Valley and 15-4 as a 157-pounder in the 2008-09 season at Temple. "I had to start working, but now I want to get my degree and I still want to compete," said Reagan, who works for the Athletic Shop in Red Bank and has been playing on a traveling slowpitch softball team. He plans to get down from about 205 pounds to wrestle at 184 or even 174 this coming season. Young, who won one Georgia Class AAA state championship and finished third another time for Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, still works out with two younger brothers on the LFO team. He considered wrestling for UTC but "ran into" Temple assistant coach Corey Wright and decided to return to the revived Crusaders program. "I missed the sport and I need a degree," said Young, who has been a Comcast technician, "and I need to work on my spiritual growth as well." Said Wright: "We're excited to have them back, and we're looking forward to big things from them."
• Baylor Swim Club members Caroline Boone, Chris Butler and Maggie Stovall earned selections to the Southeastern Swimming zone all-star team with their performances this past weekend at the Southeastern Swimming Long Championships in Nashville. They will go to the Southern Zone Age Group Championships next week (July 30-Aug. 4) in Greenville, S.C. Butler was sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke and seventh in the 200 breast, and Boone was sixth in the 1500 freestyle and eighth in the 800 free as well as 10th in the 400 free and 13th in the 200. Stovall was seventh in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events and eighth in the 100 free. The Baylor Swim Club was eighth overall in the combined standings at the event, which included more than 900 athletes from Tennessee, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. The BSC 10-under girls were second in their age group, led by Stephanie Xian with the 50 breast championship, second place in the 200 individual medley and thirds in three events and Ellie Waldrep with a second in the 50 backstroke and two fourths.
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