Commentary

ESPN RISE's record-breakers of the year

Updated: May 29, 2009, 3:42 PM ET
By Mark Tennis | ESPNRISE.com

Spring sports are wrapping up, and students are graduating all over the country. This year in sports has seen many great individual performances. As schools get out for the summer, spring sport champions are being crowned. ESPN RISE looks back at the best record-breaking performances of the year.

[+] EnlargeJeremiah Young
Steelton-Highspire High SchoolJeremiah Young rushed for more than 9,000 yards in his high school career.

10. Jeremiah Young (Steelton, Pa./Steelton-Highspire)
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back not only led Pennsylvania's only unbeaten (14-0) team to its second straight state Class A title but also rewrote the state career rushing record with 9,027 yards in four seasons. Despite battling an ankle injury the final seven weeks of the season, the Bucknell University recruit ended with 2,812 yards after posting season marks of 3,344 as a junior, 2,002 as a sophomore and 869 as a freshman. His career total ranks ninth on the all-time national list.

Check out highlights of Young's record-breaking run, courtesy of PennLive.com.

9. John Jenkins (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp)
The 6-4 senior led the nation in scoring this season in boys' basketball while posting a state record for season scoring average. The Vanderbilt University recruit scored 1,228 points in 31 games for an average of 42.3 points per game. A two-time state Class 2A Mr. Basketball honoree, he scored more than 50 points in five games, including 60 once. He also led the state in scoring as a junior with a 31-point average. Jenkins ended his four-year career with 3,192 points.

8. Lance Stephenson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln)
The 6-5 senior guard and four-year hoops standout broke one of high school basketball's most storied records when he surpassed former Lincoln star Sebastian Telfair as New York's all-time leading scorer. He averaged 28.9 points per game and ended his career with 2,946 points.

7. Mason Finley (Buena Vista, Colo.)
The day of Mason's senior prom on April 25 will be hard for him to forget. That's the day he also set a national record in the discus. Finley competed in the High Altitude Challenge in Alamosa, Calif., and his second throw went 236 feet, 6 inches to beat the previous national mark of 234-3 set in 2001 by Niklas Arrhenius from Mountain View (Orem, Utah). Just five days earlier, Finley had produced perhaps the best one-day weight event double in U.S. history with marks of 71-3¼ in the shot put and 223-4 in the discus.

 

ESPN RISE Yearbook

As the school year comes to a close, ESPN RISE has gathered our top teams and athletes as well as the top stories and moments of the year to make the ESPN RISE Yearbook. And what would a yearbook be without your photos?

// Senior Superlatives
// Stories of the year
// Top moments
// Record-breaking performances
// Entertainment headlines
// Award winners
// Running with Jordan Hasay
// Your Photos of the Year

Vote for the top teams and athletes in your area.

6. Angelo Chol (San Diego/Hoover)
Just a sophomore, the 6-8 Chol made a name for himself in the record books by blocking shots. He averaged nearly 10 blocks per game and ended the season with 337 blocks to break the reported national record of 334 set in 1992 by Darnell Robinson from Emery (Emeryville, Calif.) High. Chol also averaged 12.8 points and 13.2 rebounds per game. He led his team to a 28-8 record and was named California's sophomore player of the year. He was born in Sudan and came to the U.S. at age 7.

5. Brittney Griner (Houston/Nimitz)
In her very first outing of what became a dominating senior season, Griner set a national record by blocking 25 shots to lead Nimitz past Hastings. The previous record was 23, set in 1997 by Myeisha Jones from Claremont High (Oakland, Calif.). Griner later set a Texas state tournament record with 44 points in the semifinals against Pflugerville.

Watch Brittney Griner talk about dunking.

[+] EnlargeKayla Braud
Angela BruniKayla Braud has had a hit in every game since her sophomore season.

4. Kirby Moore (Prosser, Wash.)
In his senior season, this pass-catching whiz had 131 receptions for 2,126 yards and 34 touchdowns and was named the Class 2A State Player of the Year. The single-season touchdown total set a state record, but more significantly, it pushed Moore's career touchdown-reception total to 95 for a national record. He broke the previous national record of 83 previously held by Abram Booty of Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) from 1993 to '96. Moore will play at Boise State and join brother Kellen, who is the starting quarterback for the Broncos.

3. Rachele Fico (Monroe, Conn./Masuk)
The softball pitching phenom broke the national record for most career perfect games when she notched her 21st perfect game in late April. Fico, who is headed to LSU, then tied another national record by hurling 10 consecutive no-hitters. That streak ended with a one-hitter in which she still struck out 19 batters.

Check out Rachele Fico on ESPN RISE TV.

2. Anna Jelmini (Shafter, Calif.)
On a spring day in the small town of Oakhurst, Calif., Jelmini laid claim to being the best high school girls' track thrower of all time and one of the best two-event athletes. In a California Interscholastic Federation Central Section divisional meet, Jelmini established a national record in the discus with a toss of 190-3 and moved to No. 2 all time in the shot put with a heave of 54-4.75. On April 24, she tied the previous discus record of 188-5, set in 1994 by Suzy Powell from Downey (Modesto, Calif.).

1. Kayla Braud (Eugene, Ore./Marist)
By the middle of May, Kayla's national softball record for longest hitting streak was up to 96 games. It's a streak that began during her freshman season. She then collected at least one hit per game in every game of her sophomore and junior seasons. The senior infielder will play at Alabama.

Mark Tennis is a deputy editor of ESPN RISE. Doug Huff, Paul Muyskens, Sheldon Shealer and Steve Underwood contributed to this report.