published Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

TFP trio shine in TSWA contest — and more Chattanooga region sports news

Stephen Hargis and Mark Wiedmer from the Chattanooga Times Free Press finished first and second in the writer of the year category in this year's Tennessee Sports Writers Association state contest, and Hargis also won as best news writer, best investigative writer and best prep writer. TFP page designer Jamie Poole took first place in individual layout, and Wiedmer was second in best columnist, best feature writer and best event writer in addition to his overall runner-up award.

Auto Racing

• L.C. Bigham of Tunnel Hill earned his 500th win in 35 years at the Brainerd Optimist Club Drag Strip with the Foot Brake class victory Saturday night in the 1972 Dodge Dart he drives to the strip every week. The strip Hall of Famer won with an 8.38-second run on an 8.38 dial, and Ringgold's Marty Goldsmith was second. Kevin Rodden won the Heads-Up 6.0-second class, Rick Millard Jr. won the 7.0-second class and Tracy Cochran won the 5.70 class, but the final race was halted by the midnight curfew with Rodden, Jerry Wilson, Eric Boyd and Kevin Pass still in the running and splitting the prize money four ways. There were more than 100 cars entered in six classes Saturday, and the low elapsed time (4.65 seconds) and top speed (149.25 mph) were recorded by the only woman racing, Cynthia Warnock, in a 632-cubic-inch Chevrolet-powered dragster set up by her father, Ronnie Warnock. Miles Walters won the Junior Dragster class.

Wrestling

• Competing for the Chattanooga Regional Training Center, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestlers Levi Clemons and John Lampe broke into the University Nationals medals at Akron, Ohio. Clemons finished sixth at 177 pounds with a 7-3 record; Lampe was 6-2 and seventh at 184."Overall, it was a great weekend, and we also had a quality two-week training camp prior to the event," UTC coach Heath Eslinger said.

Running

• UTC redshirt freshman Teghan Henderson has decided on the women's 5000-meter run in the NCAA East Region track and field meet Saturday at Jacksonville, Fla. She also had qualified for the 10,000 but had waited to decide between them. She won both events at the Southern Conference meet, the 10k with a conference- and school-record 34:35.06, and already had set a 5k school record of 16:13.03.

Baseball

• Former Polk County High School standout Jared Allen, an outfielder for Middle Tennessee State, was recently named a first-team Conference USA baseball player along with two Blue Raiders teammates. The junior transfer from Tennessee led the conference with 10 home runs and drove in 33 runs with a .490 slugging percentage.

• The Chattanooga Cyclones SM baseball team (17-18-under) finished second in the 18-under division of the Southern Wood Bat Memorial Weekend World Series, falling 13-12 in the championship game to the nationally ranked Excel 18s, and the Cyclones K team (15-16s) was third. The Cyclones H team (14-15s) was third in the 16-under division won by the Excel 15s. The Cyclones SMs won 9-1 over the Ks, 5-0 over the Georgia Eagles and 10-1 over the Alabama Blue Sox with Blake Winstead, Cole "Ricky" Vaughn and Logan Fugate posting pitching wins and Brody Binder, Hunter Mercer, Fugate, Corey Edgemon and Tyler Hisey leading the offense. Cason McKoon in relief and Devin Lancaster with a save by Alex Darras were K team winning pitchers, and Peyton Tenant, Noah Hill, Logan Haga and Lancaster were top hitters.

• The 16-under Tennessee Twisters opened their summer schedule with a runner-up finish in the Knights Baseball Classic in Nashville. The Twisters won their first five games in the tournament before falling in the championship game Monday afternoon. Trey Catanzaro, Gavin Rogers, Chandler Hardiman, Logan Walters and Cam McCoy earned pitching wins, and Austin Delay and Cale Morgan led the Twisters in batting with .556 and .462 averages.

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