Sports Briefs

July 26, 2013 

Vinar makes way to Big “I” National Championship

Junior golfer Kendrick Vinar of Hillsborough has qualified for the 45th annual Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship to be held Aug. 5-8 at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst.

Vinar earned his spot by shooting rounds of 67-71 for a 138 in the 36-hole North Carolina Trusted Choice Big “I” Junior Classic, held July 13-14 at Longleaf Golf & Country Club in Southern Pines.

Greenville’s Bryce Hendrix won the N.C. Classic with a solid six-under-par 67-69-136, edging out Alex Hefner of Conover and Will Minton of Raleigh, who both shot 70-67-137 to tie for second-place honors.

Also advancing out of the state tournament were Stephen Franken of Raleigh (71-67-138), David Kocher of Charlotte (69-69-138), Vinar, Thomas Lilly of Newton (68-71-139) and Michael McMahon of Raleigh (72-67-139).

JMU’s Leeper named academic all-American

Former Carrboro High standout Rich Leeper and his James Madison University teammate Ryan Vince have been named as Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars by the Golf Coaches Association of America. A total of 152 players in NCAA Division I were named to the GCAA all-academic team last week.

To be eligible for Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar status an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least three full years at the collegiate level, participate in 50-percent of his team’s competitive rounds or compete in the NCAA Championships, have a stroke-average under 76.0, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.

Griffin wins AJGA Rolex tournament championship

Two-time North Carolina high school champion Benjamin Griffin of Chapel Hill won his first AJGA title earlier this month with his victory in the Rolex Tournament of Champions in Lancaster, Penn. He made six birdies en route to a 5-under-par 65 in the final round, leading to a total of 8-under-par 272.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rolex Tournament of Champions was a 72-hole stroke play competition played July 8-12 on the par-70 Lancaster Country Club. The event featured 72 boys and 60 girls, ages 12-18, from 31 states and six countries.

“It’s incredible looking at past names” of champions, Griffin said. “It just doesn’t get much better than this, seeing guys like Phil Mickelson; it’s just an awesome feeling to be able to put my name on the list.”

Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., the nation’s No. 1 ranked girls junior, won the Girls Division.

Later in July, Griffin carded rounds of 74-71 to earn the 19th seed in the U.S. Junior Amateur at the 7,740-yard, par-72 Martis Camp Club at Truckee, Calif. He was upset 6 and 4 by No. 46 seed Justin Suh of San Jose, Calif., in the round of 64.

CHHS will host football mini- camp this week

Chapel Hill High School football coach Issac Marsh will host a mini-camp from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at CHHS. The workout sessions are free and open to any student interested in fall sports, but the emphasis will be on football conditioning and skills.

Tryouts for high school football begin Aug. 1 across North Carolina. CHHS will hold its first session 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday. Check individual high schools for starting times, which vary from program to program.

Before they can try out for any sport, all students must complete participation forms, signed by a parent or guardian, and have a physical exam. Forms are available at most schools’ front office.

Cukierman, Larson take seconds in Triangle Tri

Gil Cukierman and Sara Larson were the respective male and female runners-up in the 10th annual Triangle Triathlon last weekend in Harris Park in southwest Wake County.

The triathlon consisted of a 750-meter swim in Lake Harris, a 17.5-mile bicycle loop and a climactic 5K run in the park. More than 500 people entered the race, some traveling from as far away at Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Cukierman, who recently finished second overall in the Tri Latta Triathlon in Charlotte, completed the Triangle circuit July 20 in 1:14:42, behind overall winner Dwayne Dixon of Raleigh (1:13:26).

Richard Bailey of Chapel Hill, age 45, (1:16:58) took fourth overall.

Other Chapel Hill finishers in the top 100 included Dominic Ciavatta (1:23:23) in 26th; 46-year-old

Louis Almekinders (1:25:51) in 44th;

Dan Lehman (1:28:10) in 57th; Eric Allman (1:29:43) in 67th;

Simon Sawyer (1:30:27) in 74th; and Alex Keil (1:32:20) in 88th.

Six local women finished in the top 100 of the female groups, including Doris Alexander of Carrboro (1:32:25) who won the 54-59 division, and Kristin Villopoto (1:30:26) who took eight place overall and second among the masters females.

Larson finished in 1:27:45 to finish second overall among the females behind winner Mary Robbins of Durham (1:23:55).

Other top females included Lauren Metzger of Chapel Hill (1:31:04) in ninth place overall; Braden Walsh of Pittsboro (1:34:30) in 19th; and Amy Rodriguez of Chapel Hill (1:50:26) in 80th.

Locals beat the heat

Chapel Hillians did well last weekend in the Beat the Heat 5K road race in Winston-Salem, where Brock Baker finished second overall with his time of 15:29. Bobby Mack of Raleigh won the race in 14:35.

Bobby Torphy of Chapel Hill was fifth in 15:53, just ahead of Kaleb Keyserling in sixth in 15:56.

Kathy Ailene Lloyd of Chapel Hill was third among masters females with her time of 24:27.

Swim for Smiles to host its first fall triathlon

The Swim for Smiles Foundation will hold its 7th Annual Swim for Smiles Youth Triathlon on the morning of Sept. 8, at the Briar Chapel neighborhood in southern Chapel Hill. Registration is now open and this is the organization’s first fall race in history. Proceeds will benefit N.C. Children’s Hospital. The Briar Chapel neighborhood location lends itself to accommodate potential growth while maintaining safety for all participants.

“Swim for Smiles is the perfect event to take place at Briar Chapel: It promotes an active, outdoor lifestyle and gives back to the Chapel Hill community,” said Kristen Gucwa, Regional Marketing Director at Newland Communities. “We’re excited to lend a helping hand and be part of this fun and important competition.”

“Briar Chapel is a dream venue for our race,” co-founder Gary Kayye said. “It has an eight-lane pool, the streets that will host the bike portion of the race are the safest I’ve seen in the Chapel Hill area as they already don’t allow parking, and the run portion will allow parents to see their kids three times on the course.”

The 7th Annual Swim for Smiles Triathlon, a USA-Triathlon sanctioned event, is open to kids from ages 5 to 18. The event includes two courses to accommodate participants of all levels, a short course and long course. There are a limited number of relay teams available as well.

The Swim for Smiles Foundation was founded by Gary Kayye and Laura Gondek in 2005 and is based in Chapel Hill. The organization has grown since then and now holds the second largest children’s triathlon event in the world. For registration visit

For more information and updates visit

W.E. Warnock, CHN sports

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