High School Sports

After eye-popping sprint time is adjusted Charlotte Latin track star still shines

Charlotte Latin's DeMarkes Stradford, who will play football at Harvard, hopes to repeat as a multiple private school state track champion this weekend
Charlotte Latin's DeMarkes Stradford, who will play football at Harvard, hopes to repeat as a multiple private school state track champion this weekend

Saturday afternoon at the CISAA conference track championships at Providence Day, Charlotte Latin senior DeMarkes Stradford ran a time so fast that no one could believe it.

His time of 10.13 seconds in the 100-meter dash was the fourth-fastest in the nation this season and more than a half-second better than anything he'd ever run.

A few days after his amazing run, officials from Perfect Timing and ncrunners.com determined the sensor on the timing system failed. The result? Stradford's time was adjusted to 10.44 seconds. That's the best in North Carolina during the current outdoor season, and is the 26th best ever run in North Carolina. It's the 53rd best time nationally this year.

Not bad for a future Harvard running back.

“The last two weeks, his workouts and runs in practice have been amazing, so we kind of knew something special was coming,” said Charlotte Latin track coach, Larry McNulty, who has coached the Hawks’ track team for 29 years and the Latin football team for the last 32. “…The conditions (at CISAA championships) were perfect, there was no wind and he got off to a great start. At about 50-meters, he just left everybody in the dust, and won by about 9-10 yards.

"I’m really excited for DeMarkes, because he’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve ever coached. He’s also very humble, his reaction after the race was like ‘ho-hum,’ this just another day.”

Stradford has had plenty of athletic success at Latin, where he is the Hawks’ all-time leader rusher in football, finishing his career 5,361 yards and 72 touchdowns. He led the Hawks to two straight N.C. Independent Schools state champion.

His final football game was special: 23 carries for 144 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-0 win over Charlotte Country Day in the N.C. Independent Schools Division II state championship game last November.

But as good as he's been in football, he's also put together one of the best track careers in school history.

Stradford, a four-year track runner, set a new, NCISAA state record (10.65) to win the 2017 NCISAA 3A state title in the 100-meter dash. He set four state records at the same meet (100, 200, 4 X 100 and 4 X 200-meter relays).

Stradford broke that record earlier this season, running a 10.62, 100-meter dash at a meet at Providence Day, April 11.

Stradford broke his own state record again last week, running the 10.44 and will compete in the state finals at Raleigh Ravenscroft May 18-19.

“We haven’t had too many guys like (DeMarkes Stradford),” said McNulty, who hopes Stradford can compete in Junior Nationals at the University of Indiana later in June. “He’s a great student, he’s so talented on the football field and so talented on the track. But what really standouts out about DeMarkes is that despite all of this (talents), he’s so respectful and so humble, you can’t not love this kid. If anyone deserves all of this success, he’s the guy.”

Jay Edwards' Boys Athletes of the week

Noah Dolhare Running (1).jpg
in Charlotte, NC on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (Mike McCarn / MMP) Mike McCarn, MMP

Noah Dolhare, Providence Day Track: The Providence Day senior set two CISAA conference championship records as he won three individual league titles and one relay at the CISAA conference championships on his home track May 12.

Dolhare, a Furman signee, set a CISAA championship meet and personal best to win the 1,600-meter dash. He also won the 800-meter run (2:03.22) and 3,200-meter runs (9:38.44).

Dolhare helped set a second CISAA meet record in the 3,200-meter relay (8:00.63) with fellow senior, Millan Henegar, and sophomores, Adam Habas and Jason Krell.

Trey Tujetsch, Ardrey Kell Baseball: The Ardrey Kell junior pitcher tossed a complete-game, two-hitshutout to help the Knights beat Lake Norman 3-0 in a second-round 4A state playoff game May 11.

Tujetsch, a University of South Carolina commit, also went 2-for-3 at the plate in the same game, outdueling Lake Norman ace, Justin Jarvis (UNC Wilmington signee) on the mound in the process.

Ardrey Kell (22-5) was scheduled to play rival Providence, May 15. The teams split two regular season matchups.

Gaston Day baseball star Brooks Reiber Jenny Reiber

Brooks Reiber, Gaston Day Baseball: The Gaston Day junior captain tossed a complete-game, six-hitter allowing one run to help the Spartans to the first NCISAA 2A state playoff victory in school history with 2-1 victory over Grace Christian (in first round), May 8.

Reiber also had four strikeouts and was 1-for-3 at the plate in the same game.

Gaston Day’s season (8-11) ended two days later in a 9-4 second-round NCISAA 2A playoff loss to Westminster Catawba.

Michael Sanders, Cannon School Golf: The Cannon School senior won his third straight CISAA golf title, shooting one-under par 71 at Pine Lake Country Club May 8.

Sanders, a Louisiana State University signee, also helped his Cannon School team to their eighth straight CISAA title in the process.

Sanders’ Cougar teammates -- Michael Childress, Narayan Mohan (73), Charlie Barr (76) and Lansdon Robbins (77) -- also made first-team all-CISAA.

Cannon School now turns its attention to the NCISAA 3A state championships at Pinehurst No. 8, May 14-15, where it will send a school-record nine golfers to compete, according to Cougars’ coach, Pat Whisenant.

Jack Heath, Charlotte Catholic Golf: The Charlotte Catholic sophomore had a big week on and off the golf course from start to finish.

Heath started off his week helping his Charlotte Catholic team to a 3A state championship at Long Leaf Golf and Family Club in Southern Pines, May 7-8.

Heath shot a two-day 150 (76-74) to finish tied for 13th individually. Charlotte Catholic’s Drew Hackett finished fourth overall, while Jack Hart tied for seventh and Will Sleeper tied for 23rd at states to help the Cougars win by 19 shots.

Heath capped his week by committing to play college golf at University of Tennessee, May 12.

Thomas Eubanks, Myers Park Golf: The Myers Park junior shot a 75 and 71 in the two-day NCHSAA 4A state championship to finish third-place individually, just one shot out of a playoff for first-place at Pinehurst No. 6 May 7-8.

Eubanks, who committed to University of Maryland in April, also helped his Myers Park team to a state runner-up finish, just three shots behind 4A state champion, Broughton High.

Community School of Davidson Golf Team: The Community School of Davidson boys’ golf team capped a perfect 10-0 season by winning the NCHSAA 1A state championship by 27 shots at Fox Fire Golf Club and Resort, May 7-8.

The Spartans’ boys’ team was also the first Community School of Davidson boys’ team to win a state (team) championship in school history, according to Coach Skip West.

Community School of Davidson was led by senior Carter Cook (PAC 7 1A conference player of the year) and sophomore Christian Jarrell (1A Midwest Regional champion), who both fired a 10-over par 154 in the two-day event to finish in a tie for fifth-place, individually.

Sophomore Alex Williams (tied for ninth-place) and junior Cole Vahey (19th-place) also played big roles in the win.

Luke Shamblin, Metrolina Christian Golf: The Metrolina Christian freshman led the Warriors’ golf team to their third straight Metrolina Athletic conference (MAC) title last week, shooting a 76 (38-38), to also earn MAC medalist honors at Cowan’s Ford Country Club, May 7.

Shamblin had a lot of help as sophomores Lucas Helms, Layne Lambert, Karsten Shields, and fellow freshman, Collin Welbourn, also eared first-team all-MAC honors, helping Metrolina Christian to a 20-shot victory at the MAC championships.

Metrolina Christian now turns its focus to the NCISAA 3A state championships at Pinehurst No. 8, May 14-15.

Drew Elder, Lake Norman Lacrosse: The Lake Norman sophomore won all 22 faceoffs he took to help the Wildcats to a 13-8 victory May 11 to advance to the 4A NCHSAA state semifinals.

Elder, who also scored three goals and had two assists in the same game, will try to help Lake Norman (20-2) beat Northwest Guilford May 15 with a spot in the 4A state championship on the line. Lake Norman was 4A state runner-up last.

Elder also won 22 of 25 faceoffs and scored three goals earlier last week in an 18-3, second round win over Ardrey Kell.

Elder has won nearly 81 percent of his faceoffs this season (245 of 303) to go along with 28 goals.

Chase Arnett, Carolina Junior Hurricanes, Bantom Major 14U: The Carolina Junior Hurricanes forward was selected to attend the USA Hockey Developmental Camp at Kent State University, July 22-27.

Arnett, 13, was one of 20 players from the 2004 (birth year) players from North and South Carolina picked to attend the USA Hockey camp after 50 to 60 players tried out April 20-22 at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail.

Arnett is an 8th-grader at South Charlotte middle school and will attend Providence High next year.

Girls’ Athletes of the Week

Charlotte Catholic girls lacrosse stars Blake Palmer, Lindsay Christmas, Lynn Brodowicz and Megan Flesch Dee Bier

Charlotte Catholic Lacrosse Senior Class: The Charlotte Catholic girls’ lacrosse team’s senior class had a week to remember as they led the Cougars to playoffs wins over Lake Norman and Weddington to advance to the NCHSAA state semifinals.

Charlotte Catholic (13-4) knocked off No. 1-seed Lake Norman 11-8 May 8 in a third round matchup against a Wildcat team they lost to in the regular season.

Three days later, the Cougars beat Weddington 9-6, the same team they lost to twice in the regular season.

Charlotte Catholic senior goalkeeper Blake Palmer had 21 saves in the two games, including four stops in the last 45 seconds to preserve the Weddington victory.

Cougars’ senior midfielder Megan Flesch has two goals, an assist, six groundballs, one takeaway and 10 draw controls in the two wins.

Catholic senior defender Lynn Brodowicz helped limit both opposing offenses, with three forced turnovers and three groundballs against Weddington.

Charlotte Catholic senior Lindsay Christmas, who is out with a knee injury, has also played a key role supporting her team this season, according to Cougars’ lacrosse coach, Dee Bier.

Sydney Scott, Charlotte Latin Track: The Charlotte Latin senior won the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the CISAA conference championships at Providence Day, May 12.

Scott ran a 12.24 to win the 100-meter dash, and then sprinted to a a personal-best and school-record24.32 to win the 200-meter dash title at the CISAA championships.

Scott also won the CISAA title in the triple jump with 36-04, and finished as conference runner-up to Providence Day’s Olivia Hee in the long jump.

Scott, a Brown University signee, looks to contend for a state title at the NCISAA 3A state meet at Ravenscroft School, May 18-19.

Rocky River track star Jirah Sidberry Antoine Sidberry, special to the Observer

Jirah Sidberry, Rocky River Track: The Rocky River junior won the 4A Midwest Regional championship in both the long jump and triple jump, while helping the Ravens’ 4 X 200-meter relay squad to victory at Pinecrest High, May 12.

Sidberry won the long jump with 18-9.25, the triple jump with a 38-4 and won the 4 X 200 relay with teammates, Mariah Atwater, Ty-Kesha Kimble and Lauren Powell in 1:41.31 as the Rocky River team finished as 4A Midwest Regional runner-up.

Sidberry now looks to contend for a state title at the 4A state championship meet at North Carolina A&T, May 18-19.

Eliza Cardwell, Providence Day Track: The Providence Day freshman set a personal best in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles as she won both events at the CISAA conference championships May 12 on her home track.

Cardwell ran a career-best 15.12 seconds to win the 100-meter hurdles title, and then a 45.24 to claim the 300-meter hurdles conference crown.

She finished as CISAA runner-up in the triple jump, with a personal-best 35-4, in only her second (triple jump) in competition (in her high school career).

Caroline Ruth, Parkwood Softball: The Parkwood senior stayed a perfect 14-0 on the mound this season tossing a complete-game, three-hitter with 13 strikeouts in the Rebels 5-0, second round playoff (3A), victory over Rockingham County, May 12.

Ruth, a Limestone College signee, has 166 strikeouts in 91.2 innings of work with a 0.46 earned-run average (ERA) this season, helping Parkwood to a perfect 22-0 record.

Ruth is also hitting .422 with three home runs, five doubles and 14 RBI this season.

The defending 2A state champion, Parkwood softball team, has now won 24 straight games, going into their third round matchup with Southern Carolinas’ conference rival Marvin Ridge in the third round of the 3A state playoffs, May 15.

Arianna Maibodi, Myers Park Soccer: The Myers Park junior had two goals and two assists in only 40 minutes on the field to help the Mustangs to a 6-0 victory over South Mecklenburg in the second round of the 4A state playoffs, May 11, to win their 17th straight game this season.

Maibodi, a Charlotte 49ers’ commit who has 16 goals and nine assists this season, helped keep Myers Park unbeaten (18-0-1) going into their third round matchup with West Forsyth, May 16.

Lindsey Poff, Charlotte Catholic Soccer: The Charlotte Catholic senior forward had a career-best five assists in the Cougars’ 9-0 first round playoff (3A) victory over Statesville, May 9.

Poff, an Appalachian State signee, came back with two goals and two more assists in Catholic’s 6-1 second round victory over Watauga, May 11.

Poff, who has 35 goals and 25 assists this season, will look to help the Cougars (22-1) beat Southern Carolinas’ conference rival, Weddington, for a third time this season in the third round, May 16.

Helen Summerell, West Iredell Soccer: The West Iredell junior forward has all six goals in the Warriors’ 6-4 victory over Smoky Mountain in the first round of the 2A state playoffs, May 9.

While Summerell did not score in the season-ending second round loss to Forbush (4-0), she finished the season with a school record 62 goals to go with 16 assists.

Summerell’s 62 goals and 140 totals points, top both categories in the state, according to maxpreps.com.

Summerell also owns the school-record for career goals with 112 scores and still has one more season in a West Iredell uniform to keep rewriting the record books.

Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school athletes with outstanding performances. Information published today includes statistics through May 13. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at edwardswork23@gmail.com. Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.