County tournaments take place amidst rainy week


MADISON COUNTY — County Tournament week for Madison County schools is always a jam-packed, hectic time. Over the course of the week, baseball, softball, girls tennis, boys track and field, and girls track and field titles were all on the line.

But with a week of rainy, unpredictable weather, various Madison County tournaments were delayed, locations of games and matches were changed, and one tournament champion was left to be decided at a later date.

Despite the hiccups, South Madison County schools Lapel and Pendleton Heights found an array of success.


For the first time in seven years, a new team stands atop the county, and they did so in historic fashion.

Lapel defeated Pendleton Heights 8-6 in the final game to win their first Madison County Championship in school history. The win ended the Arabians six-year stretch of county titles.

The Bulldogs held off a last-inning Pendleton Heights comeback attempt to secure the win.

Down 3-1 going to the fifth inning, Lapel put up three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to take an 8-3 lead into the final inning.

After an RBI single by Ari Rector and a two-run double by Katelin Goodwin, the Bulldogs lead shrunk to just two runs with no outs in the inning. With the tying run on second base, Lapel turned to freshman Ava Zdanowsky to close out the win.

She slammed the door shut, recording the final three outs without allowing a run.

Offensively, Paige Stires had three hits and three RBI for the Bulldogs, Krystin Davis drove in a pair of runs on three hits, and Tatum Harper and Lylah Gore each drove in one run.

Lapel defeated Frankton 3-0 in the opening round of the tournament and Anderson 15-2 in the semifinals, while Pendleton Heights took down Elwood 10-0 in the opening round and Alexandria-Monroe 7-2 in the semis.

Track and Field

After a runner-up finish last year, the Pendleton Heights girls returned to the top of the county, while the boys placed second to Madison-Grant, which won its second consecutive title.

Lapel was runner-up to the Arabians on the girls side and finished fourth in the boys meet.

Along with the first and second-place team finishes, the Arabians swept the individual John McCord Award. Junior Ava Jarrell took home the girls award, and senior Will Coggins took home the boys award.

Both had multiple first-place finishes to earn the award and led the Arabians to their team finishes.

Jarrell swept the distance events, winning the 800-meter, the 1,600-meter and the 3,200-meter races.

Her time of 10:52.32 in the 3,200-meter broke an eight-year-old county record by 37 seconds and she now holds the county record in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter events.

While Jarrell took the top spot in the girls distance races, her teammates were right behind her.

In the 800-meter Hadley Walker placed second, and in both the 1,600 and 3,200 Jaycee Thurman placed second.

Thurman and Walker, along with Jillian Green and Ashlyn Walker, grabbed the only other Arabians first-place finish in the 4×800 relay.

Along with the distance events, Pendleton Heights got runner-up finishes from the 4×400 relay team, Addison Stanley in the 400-meter, Maddy Pfister in the 300 hurdles, and Shaelynn Dwyer in both the shot put and discus.

Paullina Skalon was third in pole vault, Pfister was third in high jump, and Stanley was third in the 100-meter dash.

On the boys side for the Arabians, Coggins led the way with county titles in the 800 and 1,600-meter races, while Benson Davis made it a sweep of the distance events with a win in the 3,200.

Runner-up finishes came from the 4×800 relay team, Nolan Souders in the 300 hurdles, and Gabe Martin in the shot put. Martin was also third in the discus event.

For Lapel, the girls had a variety of first-place finishes with multiple coming from freshman Leila Wilson.

Wilson won the long jump, the 400-meter, and was part of the first-place 4×400 relay team along with Lilly Jacobs, Jocelyn Love and Maddy Poynter.

Regan Stookey was the other Bulldog to place first with a win in the 200-meter dash. She also placed second in the 100-meter.

Other top finishes were Isabella Sparks with a runner-up in the high jump, Lilly Jacobs with third place in the 400-meter, and Hannah Combs with a pair of third-place runs in the 1,600 and 3,200.

On the boys side for Lapel, JJ Baxter earned the only individual win in the shot put.

Simon Nickelson was runner-up in the 3,200 run, while Cameron Smith was second in the 800 and third in the 1,600. Elijah Stires placed third in the 400-meter event, Braxton Miller was third in the 800, and the 4×800 relay team placed third to round out top-three finishes for the Bulldogs.

Girls tennis

For the sixth straight year, Alexandria-Monroe claimed the girls tennis county title, beating Frankton in the championship match.

Alexandria-Monroe defeated Pendleton Heights 5-0 in the opening round on the way to the championship, while Lapel fell 4-1 to Frankton in the semifinals after defeating Madison Grant 3-2 in the opening round.


The annual Nick Muller Tournament was the only of the four county events to end the weekend still undecided.

With rain pushing things back all week, the semifinals were played on Saturday, with the championship to be played at a later date.

Pendleton Heights, after defeating Lapel in the opening round, went on to beat Anderson in the semifinals and will play Alexandria-Monroe in the championship game on a date still to be determined.

The opening-round win over Lapel was the closer of the two games for the Arabians, and it took a seventh-inning comeback to win.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, the Arabians held the lead until the Bulldogs responded with a pair of runs in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead late in the game.

Kai Newman and Rylie Hudson picked up the two RBI to give Lapel the lead.

In the top of the seventh, the Arabians rallied for four runs.

Jackson Grile, Rylan Keesling and Jordan Williamson all had RBI in the game. On the mound, Colton Frank threw five innings and allowed two runs, while Jameson Walford picked up the win in relief with two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four.

Newman pitched 6 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs, allowing four runs while striking out 16 batters.

In the semis, Pendleton Heights jumped out to an early lead to defeat Anderson 9-2.

They led 9-0 before the Indians grabbed runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh.

Colton Frank had two RBI in the win, and Colin Axel-Adams, Mazon Saxom, Williamson and Keesling each had one.

Brayden Stevenson picked up the win, throwing four scoreless, no-hit innings. He walked just four batters and stuck out 10.

Landon Oler and Aiden Davis closed things out in relief.

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