RISE National Athletes of the Week
Bonnie Richardson from Rochelle (Texas) High, the one-girl track team who won her second straight state team championship last weekend, and record-setting hurdler Reggie Wyatt from La Sierra High (Riverside, Calif.), have been selected as this week's ESPN RISE National Athletes of the Week.
Richardson is the girls track team for her tiny Texas Class 1A school and for the second straight year, she single-handedly won the state meet for her school in that division. She won the high jump with a national-class 5-8 clearance, as well as the long jump with a mark of 17-04.50. She added a second-place finish in the discus (126-09) with a third in the 200 (25.78) and a fourth in the 100 (12.51). That was good for 38 points, two more than the second-place team.
Richardson will be headed to Texas A&M in the fall, where the heptathlon may be in her future.
Wyatt's long quest for a national record came to an end Friday night in the 300 hurdle prelims at this year's California Interscholastic Federation state meet.
Finally running close to a perfect race and with little fatigue at that point, Wyatt zoomed to a 35.02 clocking, taking a huge 0.26 off Jeshua Anderson's mark set at the same meet two years ago. Anderson ran for Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and is now at Washington State.
Also running in the 400, Wyatt won the state meet final the next night in a U.S. No. 4-ranked 46.13, then struggled a bit (for him) in the 300 hurdle finals, but held on for the 36.71 win to complete the state meet double.
The complete list of this week's ESPN RISE Regional Athletes of the Week for spring sports follows below:
East Region Athletes of the WeekBoys: Will Martin (Frank Cox, Virginia Beach, Va.) Soccer
Martin has played forward and midfield through Cox's state title-winning season, and he appeared to be all over the field during the team's surprising 4-0 state semifinal win over Westfield. Martin assisted in the first two goals and scored the last two as Cox cruised to the state final where it defeated Mills Godwin, 2-1, in overtime. Martin also assisted on the team's goal in a 1-0 state quarterfinal win over Gar-Field, giving him two goals and three assists for the week.
Girls: Caitlin Hunter (Broad Run, Ashburn, Va.) Soccer
Hunter's shutout in Broad Run's 3-0 Group AA state final victory marked the senior's 20th shutout of the season, a new state record. Hunter has signed with UNC-Wilmington.
Southeast Region Athletes of the WeekBoys: Tavares Tate (Starkville, Miss.) Track & Field
Sometimes you have to travel the country to find the best competition, and Tate did that by venturing to the Great Southwest Meet in New Mexico, where he was selected to head up an All-Star 4x400 relay crew to challenge New Bern of North Carolina as the latter went for a national high school record. The 4x4 wound up being a bit of a bust, as New Bern was unable to challenge the All-Stars; Tate himself ran a 46.75 leg, nothing spectacular for him. The "spectacular" wound up coming in the open 400, where Tate zoomed to a U.S. No. 1-ranked 45.48, clipping his own previous best by almost a quarter-second. Only 11 preps have ever gone faster.
Girls: Octavious Freeman (Lake Wales, Fla.) Track & Field
On the second leg of a postseason blitz, Freeman took her sprinting talents down to the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque and dominated the sprints. She was denied a chance at the fastest legal 100 of the year by strong tailwinds, but her 11.20 there has been bettered only by her this year in any conditions. In the 200, though, the winds had died down and she rolled to a 23.36 (+1.5w), just .04 behind national leader Chalonda Goodman.
Midwest Region Athletes of the WeekBoys: Tanner Schilling (Iowa City West, Iowa City, Iowa) Soccer
Schilling broke a 1-1 tie with two unassisted goals in a four-minute span to carry Iowa City West to a 3-2 victory over Ames in the Iowa Class 3-A state final. The victory marked West's fourth soccer title, this one coming after back-to-back state runner-up finishes.
Girls: Tess Sito (Elyria, Ohio) Softball
She pitched a two-hitter in a 10-1 the Division I state championship win over Hudson. The win gave the Lady Pioneers their first title since 2002. Sito also moved to 26-3 on the year and struck out 11 as the Lady Pioneers broke their streak of three straight years as runner-up. In the 2-0 semifinals win over Hilliard Darby, she allowed just one hit, didn't walk a batter, and struck out 17. Sito was named last year's Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year and is considered a favorite for the award again this year.
Southwest Region Athletes of the WeekGirls: Bonnie Richardson (Rochelle, Texas) Track & Field
Also named the ESPN RISE National Girls Athlete of the Week.
Boys: Rudy Flores (Foy H. Moody, Corpus Christi, Texas) Baseball
Before this senior heads to Florida International next year, he made sure the Trojans would be playing in the state tournament as he knocked in five runs in a 14-4 victory over Calallen. After losing game two of the best of three Region IV-4A finals, he led the 16-hit attack with a double, triple and a homer as he fell just a single shy of the cycle. Flores opened the game's scoring with a three-run homer in the first inning as the Trojans never trailed before winning in a mercy-rule shortened contest. Flores has been the leading hitter for Moody all season and entered Wednesday's state semifinals with 11 homers and 61 RBIs.
West Region Athletes of the WeekGirls: Sam Pappas (Tesoro, Las Flores, Calif.) Softball
She finished her senior season with six straight shutouts as the Titans ended the season with a 4-0 victory over Glendora in the CIF Southern Section Division III championship game. In the championship, she allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out eight and even gave herself some run support with a solo homer. Pappas ended the season on a six-game shutout streak and finished with a 0.92 ERA and a record of 26-4.
Boys: Reggie Wyatt (La Sierra, Riverside, Calif.) Track & Field
Also named the ESPN RISE National Boys Athlete of the Week.
Mark Tennis, Doug Huff, Christopher Lawlor, Sheldon Shealer, Garland Cooper, Ronnie Flores and Steve Underwood contributed to this story.
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