Israel Machovec racked up the titles as a high school thrower at Dacula. After last weekend, he now has a more substantial crown.
The Georgia junior unleashed a winning shot put throw on his last attempt, winning his first Southeastern Conference championship in the Knoxville, Tenn., meet. His toss was a career-best 60 feet, 10 1/2 inches, bumping him to the No. 7 spot on the Bulldogs' all-time list but more importantly rallying him past Florida's Kemal Mesic and into the No. 1 spot.
Machovec's previous best throw at the SEC meet was 57-11 1/4, trailing Mesic's 60-1 1/4.
"That last throw felt great," Machovec said. "I was out of rhythm through most of my throws and it took my first five to get things on track. I had a long foul on my fourth attempt so I knew I was getting it straightened out."
Machovec added a third-place finish in the SEC discus competition with a throw of 174-8.
Meadowcreek grad Brittany Hall, running for LSU, also had a top finish. The junior was fourth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 4.97 seconds.
Broncos' Johnson makes MLS debut
Brookwood grad Sean Johnson made his Major League Soccer debut this week, starting at goalkeeper for the Chicago Fire in a match with Paris Saint-Germain, part of the Chicago Sister Cities International Cup.
The 20-year-old, who left Central Florida early to join MLS, made five saves and allowed one first-half goal in a 1-0 loss.
Taylor honored for huge season
Missouri's Rhea Taylor was an All-American last season, and her numbers have gotten even better this season.
The Peachtree Ridge grad was named a Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Midwest Region selection this week after posting career-best numbers in six categories.
Taylor is hitting .455 with seven home runs, seven triples, 39 RBIs, a .721 slugging percentage and a .486 on-base percentage. The junior also has 41 stolen bases in 44 attempts. She already holds Missouri records for career runs and stolen bases.
Wiggins named to all-region squad
Shiloh grad Megan Wiggins, a junior at Georgia, was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region second team this week.
Wiggins is tied for the team lead with 13 home runs and leads the Bulldogs in total bases (122) and hits (68). She ranks in the SEC's top 10 in six different offensive categories, including batting average (.389).
Iduate, Streetmon make all-region
Georgia Southern teammates Nina Iduate of Norcross and Brianna Streetmon of Winder-Barrow were both named Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-South Region selections this week. Both were second-teamers.
Iduate, the Southern Conference player of the year, hit .450 (11th-best nationally) this season and led the league in hits (85) and runs (37). Her .371 career batting average is best in Eagles history.
Streetmon, selected for the second straight year, was the SoCon pitcher of the year after leading the league in wins (19) and ranking second in ERA (1.97).
Both players were important as Georgia Southern posted three straight winning seasons for the first time in school history.
Murray gets all-region nod
Dacula grad Shannon Murray, a freshman at Lawrence University (Wisc.), was named a Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Great Lakes Region selection this week.
She hit .347 with seven doubles and 16 RBIs, in addition to posting a 10-6 record as a pitcher. She also threw the school's first no-hitter since 2004 this season.
Locals shine in GPC loss
Georgia Perimeter College lost two games Friday and was eliminated from the national junior college tournament, but Gwinnett grads Lauren Mathis (Grayson) and Devin Dossman (Mill Creek) played well.
Mathis hit a homer in each game, though GPC lost 7-4 to Chipola College (Fla.) and 5-4 to Odessa College (Texas). The sophomore first baseman was 3-for-7 in the losses.
Dossman, a freshman catcher, had a double, a single and two walks from the leadoff spot against Odessa.
Locals from GCSU headed to World Series
The six Gwinnett products on the Georgia College and State University baseball roster get a rare treat this week with a trip to the NCAA Division II World Series. The Bobcats qualified by winning the NCAA Division II Southeast Region title.
Norcross grad Richard Pirkle, a junior who was a second-team All-Southeast Region selected by ABCA and Daktronics, hit .358 with 16 home runs, 63 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a .751 slugginer percentage.
South Gwinnett grad Chandler Snell, a senior and full-time starter, hit .306 with 27 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. He's been joined in the lineup by part-time starter Brett George, a Grayson grad who has hit .417 with 13 RBIs. North Gwinnett's Travis Echols also is on the roster as a position player.
Two Gwinnett pitchers, senior Ryan Tabor and junior Dillon Waters, also are contributors. Tabor (Collins Hill) is 3-4 in 21 appearances, mostly in relief, with a team-best three saves. Waters (Peachtree Ridge) has made 11 appearances.
Erisman named all-region
North Georgia's Jordan Erisman, a Brookwood grad, was a second-team All-Southeast Region selection by ABCA and Daktronics. The sophomore hit a team-high .345 with a Peach Belt Conference-best six triples. He finished the season on a 21-game hitting streak.
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.