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LOCAL COLLEGE/PREP ROUNDUP: Darton softball moves up to No. 13 in national poll

ALBANY — The Darton College softball team earned its 27th and 28th straight wins Tuesday as it swept conference rival Gordon College, marking its longest winning streak in the history of the program.

Then Wednesday, the Lady Cavs got even more good news.

After being largely ignored all season by the NJCAA pollsters — and even being dropped last week from No. 16 to No. 17, despite a 31-1 record and the nation’s longest winning streak — Darton was bumped up to No. 13 in the nation. That ranking will be put to the test today as the Lady Cavs face Middle Georgia College at Cochran in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.

The Lady Cavs swept Middle Georgia when the two teams last met. Darton is currently 34-1 and undefeated (6-0) in conference play.

ASU’s Marks, Hicks honored by conference

ATLANTA — ASU catcher Chaconna Marks and pitcher Chelsea Hicks were recently named the conference’s East Division Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.

Marks, a native of Covington, went 7-for-15 from the plate, including a home run, a triple, and a double, to finish last week’s slate of conference games with a .466 batting average and a .866 slugging percentage. The sophomore scored six runs and drove in five more while finishing with a .555 on-base percentage and was perfect in the field with a 1.000 fielding percentage. Marks and the Lady Rams went 6-0 for the week, including doubleheader sweeps of conference-foes Fort Valley State, Paine and Claflin.

Hicks, a native of Marietta, earned her second weekly honor after pitching 19 innings with 12 strikeouts and five walks in three appearances. The freshman right-hander finished with a 3-0 record for the week with a 0.73 ERA.

ASU track & field stars honored by conference

ATLANTA — Four Albany State track & field stars were honored by the conference this week in advance of the annual Alice Coachman Relays on Saturday in Albany.

Brittany Carter, a senior, turned in a performance of 4:48.62 in the 1,500-meter run at the Florida State University Relays last week and has now earned her third consecutive weekly honor. She leads the conference in time and top finishes in both the 800 and 1,500.

Sophomore Irrion Conaler’s second weekly honor was highlighted by performances of 59.79 in the 400, 15.97 in 100 hurdles and 1:04.17 in the 400 hurdles, which ranks 16th nationally.

Rounding out ASU’s female runners honored by the conference, Lateria Stanton earned her first after finishing as the runner-up in the 100 hurdles at the FSU Relays. Her time of 14.93 ranks in the Top 50 of all Division II competitors.

For the guys, Untayous Benson, a sophomore, secured a second-place conference ranking and a fourth-place national ranking in the 200 with a provisional qualifying time of 21.26 at the Florida State University Relays, while teammate Terrio Leverett, a freshman, was almost as fast in the 200 at the FSU Relays. He finished in 21.46 — just one-hundredth of a second shy of the provisional qualification. His time ranks third in the conference and ninth nationally among Division II competitors.

DWS boys, girls roll to easy wins at track meet

ALBANY — Deerfield-Windsor dominated a four-team track & field meet Wednesday, sweeping the boys and girls titles.

DWS won the boys meet with 115 points, while Sherwood Christian Academy was second (51 points) and Westwood and Southland tied for third with 39 points each.

The Lady Knights scored 128 points to run away from the girls field. Westwood was second with 79 points. Southland scored 24 points, and Sherwood was fourth with four points.

Jay Barber won the long jump (19 feet, 4 inches) and the 200-meter dash (23.6) to lead the DWS boys team. Deerfield’s Gaughf Ivey won the pole vault (12-0), while Alex Berry took first in the triple jump (40-7), and Matt Miller won the discus for DWS. Deerfield’s Hayden Kelley won the 1,600-meter run (5:12) and Deerfield’s 4x100 relay team (46.14) and 4x400 relay teams (3:52) took home first place.

Sherwood’s M.J. Green won the 100-meter dash (11.38 seconds), and SCA’s Vashon Gaines won the 110 hurdles (18.4). SCA’s Chandler Tabb won the 800 (22.1), and SCA’s Keion Steward won the 400 (54.15).

Westwood’s Daniel Hays won the shot put (43-2), and Westwood’s Ridge Collins won the high jump (5-6). Southland’s Wright Calhoun won the 3,200 (10:54), and Southland’s Jeffrey McDonald won the 300 hurdles (47.2).

Deerfield also dominated the girls meet, winning 12 individual events and both relays.

Amber Young won the long jump (16-9 1/2), the 100-meter dash (13.11) and the 400 (63.96), and her younger sister, Tarah Young, an eighth-grader, won the 200-meter dash and broke Amber’s school record, winning in 27.28.

DWS’ Libby Greene won the 100-meter hurdles (18.52) and Courtney Kelson won the 800 (2:43), while Camile Fox won the 3,200 (12:50). Deerfield’s 4x100 relay team won in 53.05, and the 4x400 team won in 4:33.

DWS won five of six field events.

Deerfield All-American and Alabama signee Reed Hancock won the pole vault, clearing 11-6, and Bailey Strom won the high jump (4-7). McKenna Jones won the triple jump (30-8 1/2), and Sabrina Curry won the discus (98-6 3/4). Westwood’s Ivy Foister won the shot put (30-11).