The athlete considered by many to be the future of American throwing is now one of the top college throwers in
North Gwinnett grad Kibwe Johnson, a senior at Ashland University (Ohio), won the 35-pound weight throw recently at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships and broke an all-division college record in the process.
Johnson's toss of 82 feet, 3 inches easily made him a national champion (the runner-up throw was 65-5) and also earned him NCAA Division II Field Athlete of the Year honors. He actually broke his own college record in the event - set at 79-101⁄4 earlier this year.
The 82-3 performance also is one of the top-three performances in the history of the weight throw, which is considered a good training tool for the hammer throw. Only two other Americans have ever passed the 80-foot mark in the weight throw.
Johnson had a long journey to Ashland, beginning with a freshman track season at Georgia when he scored at the SEC Championships. Academic issues sent him to Moorpark Community College (Calif.) and then he moved to train at Ashland, a small school renowned for producing throwers. He attended North Central State Junior College (Ohio) to regain his college eligibility so he could join the Ashland squad officially.
TRACK AND FIELD
Nabors third at NAIA Nationals
Meadowcreek grad Johnnie Nabors became the first indoor All-American in Union College (Ky.) history by placing third in the 60-meter dash at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Johnson City, Tenn.
Nabors, a sophomore, was third with a time of 6.88 seconds. The event was won with a time of 6.69 seconds, while the runner-up ran it in 6.80.
Parkview teammates reunite in Arena League
Former Parkview teammates Dan Burnett and Seth Marler had an unlikely reunion last weekend - in an Arena Football League game.
Burnett, who plays for the Georgia Force, and Marler, a member of the Tampa Bay Storm, were each signed the previous week by teams in need of a kicker. The Force won the game 61-47 with Burnett hitting 7 of 9 extra points. Marler hit 5 of 7 extra points and both players also handled kickoff duties.
McGlon shines at Troy
Buford grad Patrick McGlon has had a nice spring for the Troy football team.
McGlon made his only two field goals and all of his extra points in the Trojans' first spring scrimmage, and was perfect on PATs in the T-Day spring game. He also had four punts for a 40-yard average in the spring game.
Norris named ACC Pitcher of the Week
North Carolina's Lisa Norris, a Brookwood grad, was named the ACC Player of the Week on March 13 after a great performance in the USF Adidas Invitational.
Norris had five pitching victories in a four-day stretch, including tournament wins in the semifinals and finals. Along with her 5-0 record, she had a .068 ERA, had 35 strikeouts (in 31 innings) and limited opponents to a .162 batting average.
The sophomore also hit .300 with a team-high five RBIs in the tourney. For the week, she had eight RBIs, two doubles and a home run, which came in a win over Charlotte.
Side's homer lifts Georgia Southern
South Gwinnett grad Jenny Side was the hero for Georgia Southern last weekend with a game-winning, two-run home run in the 11th inning as the Eagles defeated Minnesota 3-1 in the Capital Classic in Sacramento, Calif.
Her homer made a winner out of pitcher A.J. Street, a Parkview grad. Street pitched all 11 innings with six hits and no earned runs.
Skeels powers North Georgia
Freshman Jessica Skeels, a Central Gwinnett grad, hit her team-leading seventh home run on Tuesday as North Georgia defeated West Georgia 6-1 in the opening game of a doubleheader.
Skeels was 2-for-3 with the homer and two RBIs in the opener, and added a two-run double in the nightcap.
Also in the second game, Peachtree Ridge grad Natasha Willemse hit the first home run of her college career.
Henry climbing LaGrange charts
Duluth grad Megan Henry, a junior pitcher at LaGrange College, moved into second place all-time in her school's history with her sixth career shutout on Thursday vs. Piedmont College.
Henry also struck out her 100th batter in that victory, making her the second LaGrange player to accomplish that feat. She has a 7-2 record this season with a 1.07 ERA.
Peters stops slugfest in North Georgia win
North Gwinnett grad Mike Peters put the skids on an offensive outburst, leading North Georgia's baseball team to a 16-11 win over Erskine College.
Peters (2-0) pitched 41⁄3 innings of no-hit baseball in relief, aiding an offense that got strong games from Collins Hill grad Kevin Morrison (4-for-6, two RBIs), Brookwood grad Anders Oster (4-for-6, two RBIs) and Parkview grad Craig Brisson (3-for-5).
Bostain honored by Southern Conference
Furman senior Robby Bostain, a Brookwood grad, was named to the All-Southern Conference Team, which was selected by the league's coaches.
Bostain averaged 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a senior and finished with 1,399 career points. He averaged double figures in scoring all four college
Hawkins named to All-Southeast Region
Columbus State soccer player Sarah Hawkins, a Parkview grad, made the CoSIDA Division II All-Southeast Region team after helping her team to its first NCAA Tournament berth. Hawkins helped a defense that gave up only 13 goals in 23 matches and also had eight goals and four assists.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax to 770-339-8081.