Area sports notes: Luke Massey qualifies for U.S. Olympic swim trials

Area sports notes: Luke Massey qualifies for U.S. Olympic swim trials

June 21st, 2019 by Staff Reports in Sports - College

McCallie GPS Aquatics alumnus Luke Massey qualified Friday morning for the 2020 United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. The 19-year-old University of Tennessee sophomore swimmer registered a trials qualifying time and led everyone in the men's 100-meter breaststroke preliminaries at the Richard Quick Invitational meet at Auburn with a 1:02.42. That was a personal best by 2.05 seconds.


» Covenant College has hired Josh Brown as a men's basketball assistant coach. On Neal Young's staff he takes the place of Jake DeLaney, who left to become an NCAA Division I assistant at Gardner-Webb. Brown spent the last two years at NAIA member Northwestern Ohio, after two years at Mount Vernon Nazarene while working on his master's degree. Young declared great respect for those schools' head coaches and said Brown can bring ideas from them to help the Scots continue to climb. "His previous experience has prepared him to step in immediately and impact our players and this program as a whole in a positive way," Young said in a school release. "He will have a hand in every aspect of this program, and I am excited for him to begin working with our players because I know they will benefit greatly from his leadership." Brown played at Urbana, where he also was a cross country standout and a two-term president of the student-athlete advisory committee. He was the conference SAAC vice president. "My wife, Haley, and I are extremely excited to begin our new phase of life at Covenant," Brown said. " The opportunity for us to grow in a Christ-centered athletic department is something we are excited about."

Olivia Gilley

Olivia Gilley

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.


» Recent Central High School graduate Olivia Gilley signed commitment papers Thursday to continue her softball career at Johnson University in Knoxville. The Royals are just starting the sport, and their coach is former Tennessee Temple University baseball player Ryan Bruce. Gilley, a first baseman and pitcher, hit .407 with a .448 on-base percentage as a senior — her only season of school ball, after being home-schooled — and was one of Tennessee's all-stars in Wednesday's doubleheader sweep of Georgia. She graduated with honors and already has 40 hours of college credit. "Her attitude is amazing, and she's going to make the grades," Bruce said. "And she can hit the ball. But mainly her character is what I like." Central coach Randy Crawford started the Temple softball program and has been a resource for Bruce. He agreed that Gilley "is a very mature young lady" and "a strong hitter. She's a really good two-strike hitter. She hardly ever struck out." She said she also "looked at" Bryan College, another Christian school, but liked Johnson's small campus size and was impressed with its multiple new sports facilities.

» Johnson's Bruce also was instrumental in getting East Hamilton catcher Pierce Durham signed with the Knoxville school's baseball program this past winter. Durham has played for Bruce's baseball summer teams in recent years. "He's got a great work ethic, and he does a lot in the weightroom," Bruce said Thursday. "And he's probably the most coachable player I've ever coached. I'm glad he's a Royal."


» Paul Mueller of Naugatuck, Connecticut, took the first-day lead Friday in the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Lake Guntersville out of Goose Pond Colony in Scottsboro, Alabama, with a five-fish limit totaling 22 pounds, 14 ounces. Matt Arey of Shelby, North Carolina, was at 22-10 and Brandon Lester of Fayetteville, Tennessee, was at 22-0, while Canadian Chris Johnston, Hank Cherry Jr. of North Carolina and Floridian Drew Benton also exceeded 21 pounds. Winchester's Gary Clouse was 25th at 18-3.