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05/06/2014 4:59 PM

05/06/2014 5:01 PM

Benson recognized for successful tenure at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill High School's soccer players and staff surprised head coach Ron Benson with a small recognition ceremony at halftime of last Friday's 4-3 win against Carrboro. Assistant coach Davis Boyle read out a list of Benson's accomplishments – such as 668 wins and being named N.C. Coach of the Year three times – and later presented Benson’s wife, Nellie Hansen, with a commemorative potted plant.

Benson, in his 34th year as head coach, still has a few more wins to go. His Tigers, 16-0-0 overall and ranked No. 2 in the state, play at No. 2 Cardinal Gibbons (16-1-2) at 6:45 tonight in a game that should decide the Big 8 Conference championship.

Local tennis players advance in NCHSAA tournament

Carrboro's players were dominant in last weekend's NCHSAA 2A Mideast tennis regional. Max Fritsch and Jake Zinn defeated Jaguar teammates Aaron Hiller and Paul Flournoy 6-3, 6-2 for the regional championship. Brian Freiburghouse, last year's NCHSAA runnerup, defeated teammate Jason Wykoff 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 for the singles title. All six advance to the NCHSAA championships that begin Thursday in Cary.

In the 3A regional, Bryan Zhang of Chapel Hill High School got to the finals of the Mideast before he lost to top-seeded Robert Kelly of Cardinal Gibbons, the same player who topped the Tigers' Chris Chang in the regional semifinal. That made Zhang the Mideast's No. 2 seed and Chang the No. 3 heading into Thursday’s state rounds in Burlington. In doubles, Chapel Hill's Alex Walker and Ashwiin Bhargava ended up as the Mideast's No. 4 seed.

In the 4A Midwest, East Chapel Hill advanced Max Smith in singles and the doubles team of Jack Devonport and Connor Lutz to the state championships at Millbrook Exchange Park in Raleigh.

All three classifications of the state championships begin at 9 a.m. Thursday at their respective sites.

Blackburn sets long jump record for Middlebury

Former Chapel Hill High School standout Hannah Blackburn set a Middlebury College record in the long jump last Friday during the Division III New England Championships.

In her first year at Middlebury, Blackburn broke the Div. III school's outdoor record in the long jump, with a a distance of 18 feet, 2.50 inches. That was good for third place and All-New England honors. It placed her in a tie for 23rd in all of NCAA Division III.

The Panther women finished in fourth place out of 33 teams competing at the New England Championships with 47 points, while the men were 11th out of 32 teams. Top-eight finishers in each event earned All-New England honors.

Ring Memorial set for Orange County Speedway

The Orange County Speedway will crank operations up and running Saturday for the second annual Paul Ring Memorial Race for Late Model Stock Cars.

That 75-lap event will be preceded by races for Limited Sportsman cars, Pure Stock and Street Stock, plus Super Mini Trucks and Mini Cups.

Qualifying starts at 5:40 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m.

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