CHARLIE BERGMANN: Next Level: Local Swimmers Fill the Lanes in College Meets
Local swimmers are making a big splash at colleges up and down the east coast.
Jenny Fields (Pinecrest) helped the U.S. Coast Guard Academy record its first win of the season against Worcester Polytechnic Institute in November. The junior from Pinehurst won the 50-yard freestyle and was a member of the first-place 400-yard medley relay team.
In an earlier meet against NYU, she finished fourth in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, and was a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay quartet.
Moving south from New London, Conn., to Lexington, Va., Evan Fitzgerald of Southern Pines (O'Neal) is a junior member of the Washington and Lee squad that is ranked 14th in a Division III poll. In a November meet at Gettysburg College, the junior was a member of the first-place 400-yard freestyle relay team and finished second in the 200-yard backstroke.
In a later meet against Rowan, the versatile swimmer was second in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard butterfly.
Another swimmer from Southern Pines, Rachel Fritts (Pinecrest) is a sophomore on the swimming team at the Savannah School of Art and Design. In the school's College Invitational last month, Fritts won the 200 butterfly and was a member of the first-place 800-yard freestyle relay team. She also came in third in the 200 freestyle race.
Also competing in the Savannah meet was Pinehurst's Jessica Rothbeind of Rollins College (O'Neal) in Winter Park, Fla. The sophomore was fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke and swam on the 400 medley relay team that came in fifth.
In the team's next meet against Principia College, Rothbeind took firsts in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and as a member of the 200-yard medley relay team.
Cameron Thomas of Robbins (North Moore) was the recipient of an award handed out by the UNC football coaches. The redshirt freshman defensive tackle and teammate E.J. Wilson were co-winners of the Jeffery Cowell Memorial Award as the Outstanding Newcomer on Defense.
Thomas recorded 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his first season.
Former Pinecrest and North Carolina A&T basketball player Charles Jackson was at James Moore Gymnasium recently looking over prospects for the Rockingham Community College team he coaches.
Former Patriots Arvetra Jones, Jeremy Hargrove and Trevor McDonald are freshmen members of his squad. RCC is 9-2 after splitting two games in the Polk Community College Christmas Tournament in Florida.
In a 60-56 victory over Fredrick College, McDonald scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds. Anthony Toomer, who played for Lee County in high school, made the all-tournament team.
RCC travels to Fayetteville to play the Methodist College jayvee team on Jan. 14.
Fans of former Union Pines basketball player Lisa Jackson of Cameron can catch her in action at Methodist next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. when the Monarch women meet Greensboro College.
A second team All-Conference USA South selection last season as a sophomore, she is second on the Monarchs in scoring this season (9.5 points) and first in three-point goals. Idle since Dec. 3, the team has a record of 3-4.
Zack Martin of Southern Pines, who won the state 125-pound championship as a 15-year-old sophomore at Pinecrest in 2004, is a member of the Appalachian State wrestling team. The freshman dropped decisions to wrestlers from Cal StateBakersfield and Lehigh in the 149-pound class at last weekend's Southern Scuffle at UNC-Greensboro.
The meet included many of the top Division I teams in the country.
Catching up on the fall season, Erin Cooper of Southern Pines (Pinecrest) helped the Meredith women's soccer team compile a record of 17-4-1, the best in the program's history.
The Angels, who will become members of the Division III USA South Conference next season, also made it to the NCAA playoffs for the first time, losing 5-1 to Washington and Lee.
Charlie Bergmann can be reached at email@example.com
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