Best of Preps female finalists abound in state titles

Best of Preps female finalists abound in state titles

June 26th, 2017 by Stephen Hargis in Sports - Preps

Arts & Sciences senior Lennex Walker, shown clearing the bar during her 300-meter hurdles victory at the Optimist meet this spring, will try to win state titles in track and field this week. She is the top qualifier for today's pentathlon and for four individual events later this week at the state meet: long jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

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The six finalists for this year's Scrappy Moore Female Athlete of the Year award have a combined 13 state championships in their high school careers. The winner will be named Tuesday night at the annual Times Free Press Best of Preps banquet.

At the banquet, set to begin at 6 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, awards will recognize individual players of the year in all boys' and girls' sports as well as overall male and female athletes of the year and the coach of the year.

Every athlete and coach named to a Times Free Press Best of Preps first, second or third team for the 2016-17 school year receives one complimentary ticket to the banquet. An email has been sent to those athletes and coaches with a private link for them to RSVP. Anyone planning to attend must go to the link and RSVP to claim his or her ticket.

Anyone else who wishes to attend can do so by going to bestofprepschatt.com and ordering tickets there for $50 each. All questions concerning tickets should go to marketing@timesfreepress.com or Kate Brennan at 423-757-6308.

The six finalists are Camryn Bowman, Rhyne Howard, Jana Johns, Jacobi Lynn, Ashley Rogers and Lennex Walker.

Bowman, a Signal Mountain senior in 2016-17 and East Tennessee State University signee, won the Class A/AA state championship in the shot put with a throw of 39 feet, 2.75 inches and also won the state discus title with a throw of 133 feet.

Bradley Central's Howard was a Miss Basketball candidate who helped the Bearettes to an undefeated regular season, plus district and region titles, while averaging 19.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 4.6 steals a game. She has committed to Kentucky.

Calhoun's Johns signed to play softball at South Carolina and was a Georgia Athletic Coaches Association state player of the year in two sports. The four-year starter led the Lady Yellow Jackets basketball team to a 21-win season by averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds a game, and she set school records for points in a season and a career. As a third baseman, she led the softball team to a 39-3 season with a .520 average, 19 home runs, 78 RBIs and 57 runs. She finished her career with three state championships and one runner-up finish.

McMinn Central's Lynn, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball signee, averaged 24.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and three steals a game and finished as the program's No. 2 all-time scorer with 2,574 points.

A junior for Meigs County, Rogers was named Tennessee's Gatorade softball player of the year after leading the Lady Tigers to their second straight Class A state championship. Already committed to the University of Tennessee, she compiled a 33-3 pitching record with a 0.27 ERA, and her 441 strikeouts include a record 80 at the state tournament.

Walker, an Austin Peay signee from Arts & Sciences, became only the second track and field athlete in TSSAA history to win five state championships in the same season. She began with the Class A/AA pentathlon title and three days later added first-place finishes in the long jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles. She was also an all-district player in basketball.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.


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