Anna Cockrell, University of South California/Former Providence Day Girls’ Track: At this time last year, then Providence Day senior, Anna Cockrell, was finishing off her historic Charger career, where she won 16 NCISAA state titles while also leading her team to four straight NCISAA 3A state team championships.
Fast forward one year later, Cockrell, has already established herself as one of the top performers on the University of South California (USC) track team as a freshman.
Cockrell, 19, has had a big month, as she became the first Trojan in a decade to be named PAC 12 freshman of the year on May 17.
On May 25-27, Cockrell qualified in both the 100 and 400-meter hurdles for the NCAA National Championships at University of Oregon on June 7-10.
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She will likely also run for the Trojans’ 4 X 400-meter relay team at the NCAA National Championships.
“This year has gone by crazy fast, and I’ve grown up a lot, and it’s been a learning process,” said Cockrell, who missed a lot of her training this offseason because of an injured left knee. “To overcome what I have and be able to qualify for NCAA (nationals) in both events (100 and 400-meter hurdles) is really special, especially in my first year. It’s hard to make NCAA’s in one event, so to make it in two is great.”
While Cockrell has already had a standout freshman season, if you think she is satisfied, think again.
Cockrell is eager to prove she can be equally as good at the short-distance hurdles such as 100-meter hurdles as she is in the long-distance hurdles such as 400-meter hurdles, where she qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials last summer as an 18-year-old, high school senior.
While Cockrell is totally focused on the NCAA Nationals in June, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, are always in her thoughts.
“I think about the Tokyo games (2020) a lot and it’s a huge motivation for me,” Cockrell said. “I was very unhappy with how I performed at the Olympic Trials last year, because it was the first time I missed qualifying for the finals of an event since I was a freshman in high school and it was not a good feeling. …
“I think about the Olympics all the time, when I’m training hard in the offseason and I’m tired, I know I have to keep pushing to accomplish all of the things I want to do. Just thinking about that makes me want to work harder, to train harder.”
Cockrell never has look far to remember her goals as she carries a small, purple book around all of the time, where she not only lists goals, but also has journal of things she is thankful for on a daily basis.
Cockrell also has a white board in her room, where she lists her long term goals, updating each August or September. She has had a white board in her room since her freshman year of high school.
While Cockrell continues to shine in nearly every track meet she runs in, she is never content with the status quo.
“I’m never really satisfied with what I’ve accomplished, because I’m always moving on to the next thing,” Cockrell said. “Track is not a sport where you can afford to be comfortable, because you can be No. 1 one week and not the next. There’s always somebody out there, who wants it just as bad as you do, who is working just as hard as you are. My goal is take advantage of every opportunity and of every meet that I run in.”
Lissi Gordon, Community School of Davidson Girls’ Soccer: The Community School of Davidson senior scored four goals and had one assists in her final week in a Spartan uniform.
Gordon had two goals and one assist in a six-minute span in the 1A state championship game, where Community School of Davidson (25-2) eventually lost, 4-3, in penalty kicks on May 27.
Gordon also had two goals in the Spartans’ 4-1, 1A state semifinal win over Gray Stone Day on May 23.
Gordon, a Liberty University signee, had a career-best 30 goals this season and finishes her Spartan career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 99 career scores.
Amanda Rock/Abbey Stapleton, Charlotte Catholic Girls’ Soccer: The Charlotte Catholic senior goalkeeper duo was strong all season, allowing just 18 goals in 27 games
Rock and Stapleton each played a half in the goal for the majority of the season, recording 15 shutouts this season.
The Charlotte Catholic duo was at their best in the 3A state semifinal against West Forsyth on May 24. Both Rock and Stapleton played a half of the game in goal, while Stapleton was in goal for the overtimes and sudden death periods, that all ended in a 0-0 tie.
Rock also made two huge save in penalty kicks, where West Forsyth eventually outlasted Catholic, 5-4.
Rock is going to Clemson University next year, while Stapleton will continue her academic and soccer career for the Charlotte 49ers later this summer.
Claudia Dickey, Charlotte Latin Girls’ Soccer: Less than a week after she scored the game-winning goal in Charlotte Latin’s 1-0 state championship victory over rival, Providence Day, Hawks’ senior, Claudia Dickey was named CISAA player of the year for the second straight season.
Dickey, now a three-time all-state pick, won the award for her efforts as a goalkeeper and for her play in the midfield.
Dickey, a University of North Carolina commit, is also in the U18 U.S. National soccer team pool.
Charlotte Latin’s Mary Elliott McCabe (North Carolina commit) and Emily Wise (Auburn signee) were also all-state selections.
Brooke Freeman/Meaghan Quinn, South Iredell Girls’ Soccer: The South Iredell girls’ soccer senior duo were both invited to play for the West team in the N.C. East-West All-Star game on July 18 at MacPherson Stadium in Greensboro.
Freeman and Quinn played major roles on the Vikings’ 21-1 team, whose only loss came in the 3A state quarterfinals to Weddington.
Quinn had 26 goals and 10 assists this season and finishes her Viking career with 95 goals.
Freeman, a Catawba College signee, had 12 goals and 13 assists this season.
Reed Hunnicutt/Ethan DeSilva, South Mecklenburg Soccer: South Mecklenburg all-state seniors, Reed Hunnicutt and Ethan DeSilva, were picked to two different all-star games this summer.
Hunnicutt and DeSilva will first play in the Clash of the Carolinas at Cardinal Gibbons on July 8.
The Sabre duo will also compete for the West team in the North Carolina East-West all-star soccer game, July 18 at MacPherson Stadium in Greensboro.
Hunnicutt, an Appalachian State University signee, had 21 goals and 13 assists, and was the co-Charlotte Observer player of the year, N.C. Western Region player of the year and SoMeck9 conference player of the year.
DeSilva, who is going to N.C. State to study engineering, had 16 goals and a school-record 31 assists and was first-All-Observer pick.
Evan Ashbrook, Hough Soccer: Hough senior forward and co-Observer player of the year, was also chosen to play for the N.C. team in the Clash of the Carolinas on July 8.
Ashbrook had 24 goals and 11 assists last fall for Hough, earning the N.C. coaches’ association state player of the year, Region 10 player of the year and MECKA 4A conference player of the year honors.
Tim Bunten, Cannon School Golf: The Cannon School senior qualified for the U.S. Open Sectional, shooting a one-under par at Lonnie Poole Golf Course at N.C. State University.
Bunten, an East Carolina University signee, was one of four golfers who had to go to a playoff for the last two qualifying spots.
Bunten’s Cannon School teammate, junior Michael Sanders, missed the playoff by one shot, so he decided to caddy for Bunten in the playoff.
Bunten birdied the second hole of the playoff to become the first qualifier.
Bunten will play in the 36-hole U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at June 5 at Hawks’ Ridge Golf Club in Ballground, GA.
Connor Armistead, Charlotte Christian Golf: The Charlotte Christian senior received the Matt Sobieski award, given to a senior that displays improvement in their respective athletic field, scholarship, leadership in school and on the team and community service.
Armistead, a Charlotte 49ers’ golf signee, earned all-state honors finished ninth at the NCISAA state meet and was also 1st-team all-conference performer, averaging 71.8 this season.
Armistead also excels off the course, volunteering for the past four years through his church at the Room at the Inn, which provides shelter and food for the homeless, every Monday night .
Blake Jamison, Charlotte Latin Golf: The Charlotte Latin junior is also getting it done on and off the course.
Jamison, a scratch golfer, was an all-state (tied for ninth at states) and all-conference performer for Latin this season.
But what he’s doing off the court is even more impressive as Jamison has already constructed three computers and a smart watch, showing phone calls, text, weather alerts and more.
Jamison also has a passion for automotive engineering and hopes to major in the mechanical/automotive engineering in college at Clemson, Mercer or Virginia Tech.
Jamison is also active in the community, where he volunteers for “Take On Sports,” spending most of his Sundays in December, January and February, bowling with local special needs’ adults and children.
Andrew Redding, Cannon School Tennis: The Cannon School senior was an all-state pick for the 4th straight year, also earning CISAA conference player of the year for the second year in a row this week.
Redding was a perfect 18-0 in singles’ play and 14-3 in doubles this season.
Redding, an Indiana University signee, lost three singles’ matches his freshman year, and hasn’t lost a singles’ match for Cannon School since then.
Redding is ranked No. 1 in the state in his age group, according to tennisrecruiting.net.
Drew Donathan, Charlotte Christian Baseball: Charlotte Christian catcher’s senior season didn’t start the way he wanted it to, as he broke his nose in the season-opener against Metrolina Christian, and the broke his right hand used for throwing six days later against Cardinal Gibbons.
But Donathan came back strong, batting. 417 with two home runs, six doubles and 18 RBI to help Charlotte Christian (30-5) to a NCISAA 3A state runner-up finish.
Donathan, who will continue his baseball at Clemson University this summer, was named CISAA player of the year and all-state for his efforts this season.
Charlotte Christian seniors, Andrew Durden, a Presbyterian University signee, and Scottie Wallace, a Wofford College signee, and junior Jonah Beamon, a University of South Carolina commit, were also all-state and all-conference selections.
Josh Roberts, Joe Haney and Jason Haudek, SouthLake Christian Baseball: The SouthLake Christian baseball team had a big week off the field just one week after their NCISAA 3A state quarterfinal loss to Charlotte Christian.
Eagles’ senior catcher, Josh Roberts, signed with Lenoir Community College on May 23.
Roberts hit .317 with 22 runs scored for the Metrolina Athletic conference (MAC) champions (15-10, 10-3) this season.
Meanwhile, SouthLake Christian juniors, Josh Haney and Jason Haudek, were named to the all-state team on May 22.
Haney led the Eagles with a .486 batting average and three home runs, while Haudek hit .418 with 22 runs scored.
Casey Chambers, Hickory Grove Softball: The Hickory Grove softball team’s lone senior, captain Casey Chambers, went out with a bang, going eight-for-16 at the plate with two home runs in the Lions’ playoff run.
Chambers came up big when her team needed her the most, going six-for-12 at the plate with a homer in the state finals.
Chambers, a three-time all-MAC pick was also an all-state selection this year, with .571 batting average and .917 fielding percentage.
Chambers will continue her softball career University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This season’s finest highlights high school athletes with outstanding performances. The column will resume in the new school year. Information published today includes statistics through May 28.
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