published Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Astrid Escobar, Michael Morris top Sewanee senior athletes — and more Chattanooga region sports news

Swimmer Astrid Escobar and lacrosse player Michael Morris were honored this past weekend as Sewanee’s overall senior athletes of the year. They received the Evelyn H. Mooney Award for top female and the Barron-Cravens Cup for top male. Escobar leaves as the school and Southern Athletic Association record-holders in both the 100- and 200-yard women’s breaststroke events, and she never lost a conference race in either in three seasons. She qualified for three consecutive NCAA Division III national meets and earned All-America honors in the 100 in 2012 and 2013 and the 200 in 2013. She also was part of school and SAA record-setting 200 and 400 medley relays and compiled a 2.87 grade point average as a biochemistry major. Morris was the SAA men’s lacrosse offensive player of the year the last two seasons and holds the two-time SAA regular-season champions’ career records for shots, points, goals and assists. He scored the winning goal in the second overtime in the 2013 league tournament title game.

• Sewanee sophomore defender Alexis Crittenden and junior midfielder Sally Anne Greenwood were named 2014 All-West Region first-teamers by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, and sophomore Tigers teammates Katie Riddle and Dori Wilson were second-team selections. Greenwood, the SAA offensive player of the year, had 47 goals, 24 assists and a .603 shooting percentage this season, and Riddle had similar numbers with 43 goals and 32 assists, including seven goals and three assists in the league-tournament semifinal. Crittenden was considered the Tigers’ best matchup defender and had 18 caused turnovers with 47 ground balls, while Wilson also had 47 ground balls plus 25 caused turnovers and 33 draw controls.

• Girls Preparatory School alumnae Sarah Mastey and Audrey Powers of Centre College also earned IWLCA All-West honors, just-graduated Mastey on the first team and junior Powers on the second, and they helped persuade GPS senior lacrosse player Haden Gibbons to follow them to the SAA regular-season champion in Danville, Ky. “I didn’t know them before, but I talked to them a lot as I was considering Centre,” Gibbons said Tuesday after her commitment recognition at GPS. “They were very inspiring in what they had to say.” She “seriously considered” Sewanee and also liked Furman. GPS coach Caroline Carlin described Gibbons as a “quiet observer” when she joined the Bruisers as a sophomore. “Over the past three years, Haden has grown as an athlete and leader on this team. She was instrumental in pivotal victories against top competitors,” Carlin added, lauding Gibbons’ speed, athletic ability and “ability to nurture relationships and bring the best out of those around her. … Above all, the most valuable component of Haden’s character is her determination.” Gibbons is a co-captain who went from the midfield to the attack this season. She had a 60 percent shooting average and led the team in draw controls.

Track & Field

• Former Bryan College runner Josh Bradley is returning to the Dayton school as head coach for men’s and women’s cross country and track and field. The 2006 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School graduate was a four-time NAIA All-American at 800 meters while at Bryan and has been teaching middle school social studies and coaching the last two years. Now he succeeds former teammate Bryson Harper at their alma mater, oficially starting in July but already doing some recruiting. “I am excited about this excellent opportunity. Bryan is a great school. The cross country and track teams have become significant in the running community,” Bradley said in a school release. “I am looking forward to building on that success.” Said athletic director Taylor Hasty: “We are so excited about Coach Bradley coming back to Bryan. He loves this place dearly, and I am excited to have such a great man as a part of our athletic department.”

• Former GPS multisport star Tory Kemp of North Carolina won the heptathlon at the Virginia Challenge this past weekend at Charlottesville with the third-best points total in Tar Heels history, 5,366. That won by 31. “Overall this meet was pretty good for me considering all of the setbacks I’ve had this year with injuries,” Kemp said in a school posting. “Altogether this meet was a step in the right direction for me and makes me really excited for next year.”

Baseball/Softball

• The Bryan College baseball team kept its season alive with two losers-bracket wins Tuesday in the NAIA opening-round tournament in Kingsport, Tenn.: 4-3 over No. 2 seed Brewton-Parker and 5-4 over Culver-Stockton. The Lions (35-27) can reach the NAIA World Series in Idaho by beating Cumberland University in the losers-bracket final and downing top-seeded Missouri Baptist twice today and Thursday. L.J. Rowden allowed only one earned run in 8 2/3 innings against Brewton-Parker (32-13), which got two runs in the ninth, and Kenny Knudsen got the last out for the save. Justin Morhardt, Joey Underwood and Cody Rhinehart each had two hits and an RBI for the Lions, and Grant Zawadzki, Preston King and Crandon Wallace also had two hits each. Morhardt was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Kelvin McMiller was 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs against Culver-Stockton (30-28), and Kevin Roberts was 2-for-4 with the winning walk-off homer. Knudsen pitched the whole game.

• The Bryan College softball team won two games Tuesday evening in the NAIA opening-round series in Montgomery, Ala. The Lady Lions edged Houston-Victoria 9-8 and got past Indiana University Southeast 2-0 in 11 innings. Kaitie Sims was the starting pitcher but Sarah Hundley finished and got the win against the Texas team for Bryan (31-23), and Sims pitched an 11-inning six-hit shutout in the nightcap, when Heidi Daniel had two hits and both RBIs. Daniel had two hits, an RBI and a run against Houston-Victoria, while Heather Daniel had two hits and two RBIs, Katelyn Bowen also had two RBIs and Olivia Gore and Taylor Yates matched the Daniel sisters with two hits each, Gore scoring twice.

• Former Ooltewah High School softball player Abby Daniels and Berry College teammate Shelby Smith made the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA D-III Atlantic Region second team for 2014. The NFCA lists eight regions throughout the country.

Rowing

• Chattanooga Junior Rowing’s Aubrey Gardin and Audrey Moorehead in women’s lightweight double and twins Connor and Quinn Nash in men’s pair qualified for the USRowing youth nationals June 13-15 in Sacramento, Calif., with third-place finishes in the Southeast Junior Championship Regatta this past weekend at Sarasota, Fla. The Nashes will be rowing at Gonzaga University next year. CJR’s novice women’s four comprised of Kathy Zeglen, Anna Bible, Annette Robins, Grace White and coxswain Cole Switzer won their division in Sarasota, and the women’s second quad finised fourth.

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