High schools

Charity Snelling's high jump could be Franklinton High's first individual state title

tstevens@newsobserver.comMay 14, 2014 

Charity Snelling won the high jump in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A championships Saturday, earning what is believed to be the first individual championship in Franklinton High’s history.

“Not just the first individual track and field championship, but the first individual championship in anything,” said Franklinton track coach Trent Sanders. “We opened the school around 1936, I believe.”

Snelling, who was fourth in the 2A final in 2013, won by clearing a career best 5 feet, 5 inches.

“It thought the title was hers to lose,” Sanders said. “She had worked for four years for this day, and it was time to pull all that hard work together to make the jump.”

Snelling is a four-year letter winner in indoor and outdoor track and in girls’ basketball.

“When she won, there were a lot of tears,” Sanders said. “I was crying. She was crying. It all came together at the right time.”

Snelling has signed with Hartsville (S.C.) Coker College, which is starting a girls’ track program next season under former Southeast Raleigh High and Cardinal Gibbons High coach Bennie Morgan. He also was a volunteer assistant at Duke and coached at Campbell.

Miller dies: Joe Miller, a former coach and athletics director in New Hanover County, died at his home Tuesday. He coached softball and football at New Hanover High and gained national recognition as an athletics director.

He was a coach at New Hanover High or the New Hanover system athletics director for 36 years before retiring in 2009.

“Joe was a take-charge type of guy,” said David Ball, the AD at Erwin High in Asheville and the president of the N.C. Athletic Directors Association. “You always knew where you stood with Joe. He was a stand-up guy. He’d make the decision that was best for the students every time.

“He was constantly trying to improve. He was active on the national level and in promoting continuing education for athletic directors.”

Miller was the NCHSAA Dave Harris Athletic Director of the Year in 2003 and was the N.C. Athletic Director’s Association Athletic Director of the Year in 2003 and 2006.

He is the uncle of Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller and Dayton men’s coach Archie Miller.

Slay picked: Former Wakefield High volleyball standout Katie Slay has been selected for the 12-player U.S. Women’s national volleyball team that will play at the NORCECA World Championship qualification tournament Thursday-Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Slay, who is 6-foot-6, was an All-American at Penn State.

The U.S. women will open pool play Thursday against Guatemala, followed by Panama on Friday and Honduras on Saturday. The tournament winner will advance to the FIVB Women’s World Championship, set for Sept. 23-Oct. 12 in six Italian cities.

Baseball upset: Apex (11-12) pulled the upset of the first round in the NCHSAA 4A baseball playoffs when it defeated Clayton 5-2. Apex is the fourth seed from the Southwest Wake 4A. Clayton (17-4) was tops in the Greater Neuse River 4A.

“Our boys played pretty well overall,” said Apex coach Michael Valder. “The defense turned two double plays, including a key one in the sixth inning.”

Ben Highfield drove in a couple of runs and Valder said Donald Beckwith delivered a key two-strike double in the fourth that helped spark a four-run inning.

Rex golf: Some of the top high school and collegiate golfers will compete in the Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational on Sunday at TPC at Wakefield. The winner will receive an invitation to play in the Rex Hospital Open, an Web.com Tour event.

Jordan wrestling: The wrestling program at Durham Jordan has been named as one of the top 12 in the country for branding. The National Wresting Coaches Association in conjunction with Elite Level Sports Marketing selected the schools.

The programs use social media effectively to market themselves and consistently build their brand during the season. J. Mike Blake contributed to this story.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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