The Dean's List: Hillsboro sets Sales toward state track hardware

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 1:50am
Quanisha Sales is heading to the AAA sectional this weekend at Kenwood hoping to qualify for the state meet next week. Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

Memo to school officials: Save some room in the Hillsboro High trophy case, because two state championships may not be quite the end to Burro athletic accomplishments this school year.

Hillsboro already has won state championships in both football and girls basketball this school year, something no other Nashville school can claim. Next up — track.

Senior Quanisha Sales is hoping not only to defend her 100-meter state championship, but she has her eyes focused on some more gold as well for the Burros in next week’s state track meet at Middle Tennessee State University.

The 5-4, 120-pound Sales heads into the AAA sectional meet this weekend at Kenwood High, hoping to qualify in her specialties. She’s not only gunning for a 100 repeat but hopes to add the 200 as well. Last year, Sales ran an 11:73 to win the 100 and was second in the 200 behind Hunters Lane’s Stacia Hanneman, who graduated.

She became the first girls’ sprinter to win a state title in Hillsboro school history.

“That’s (state title) something I’m really shooting for,’’ said Sales, who has won every sprint race she’s been in this spring, except for the Great Eight meet in which she didn’t run due to resting a tweak in her hamstring.

“I’m planning to run in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, and I hope we can win those races, too,’’ Sales said. “That’s a lot of running, but I’m looking forward to it.’’

Last year, her times of 11.70 and 23.98 seconds ranked her in the top 10 nationally in both the 100 and 200 races.

Sales has always had comet speed.

“I started running when I was age 5. I owe Coach (Butch) Stewart a lot when I was at Fall-Hamilton (Elementary) for getting me started in track.

“I started out with the Wilma Rudolph Track Club,’’ said Sales of the club named for the star Tigerbelle and three-time 1960 Olympic gold medalist in Rome. “I ran with some outstanding runners like (USN and Georgetown U. star) Buky Bamigboye.’’

“She began in K-4 at Fall-Hamilton School, where I was a teacher,” said Stewart, who is currently the boys and girls golf coach at MLK, “During training period, I could tell right off she would be a great sprinter. She could outrun all the girls and the boys,’’ he said.

“I got her in running, we entered her in some of the Police Athletic League events, and she dominated her age group,’’ he said. “I’m happy she’s doing so well at Hillsboro, and she’ll do great things in college.’’

Last week in the AAA sub-regional at Brentwood, Sales ran an 11.98 and 25.33 to easily win the 100 and 200. She has qualified for both the 100- and 200-meter dashes in state all three of her varsity track years and she goes for four straight for both during the AAA sectionals this weekend.

In the recent City Championships at Harpeth Hall, she ran an 11.88 in winning the 100, breaking a 47-year-old meet record.

“Quanisha is clearly the best sprinter I’ve ever coached in track,’’ said third-year Hillsboro coach Kevin Komisar who has worked at Hillwood High with the legendary Chuck Lewis and Steve Brown prior to coming to Hillsboro.

“She is a tremendous athlete and she works so hard and is so determined,’’ said Komisar, who, incidentally, will remain on the football staff for new coach Dennis Moreno.

“She started running the 800 early on, but it became clear the sprints were her best events,’’ said Komisar, who said Sales would run anchor in the two relay races. “She gives it her best all the time. She’s been a pleasure to work with.’’

And she’s gone nonstop since.

Last June in the AAU Junior Olympics Games, Sales ran an 11.70 in the 100.

“We’re trying to get that recognized as a state record, but I think it has to be in a TSSAA meet to be officially recognized,’’ Komisar said.

Sales has a sophomore sister, Myesha, who is a cheerleader, and an eighth-grade brother, Mark. “He plays four sports, football, basketball, baseball and track. And he’s going to be good in all of them,’’ she predicted.

Sales has signed with Louisiana Tech where she will join her good friend Stacia Hanneman, whom she competed with in high school. The duo gives the Techsters plenty of reason for optimism in the sprint races. A Western Athletic Conference powerhouse, Tech has won the last four conference women’s track championships, both indoors and outdoors.

“I’m very excited about going to Tech and running with Stacia,’’ said Sales who graduates on Monday.

Asked what her long-time goals were, Sales aimed high. “I’m shooting for the 2012 Olympics in London,’’ she said. “I know that’s a lofty goal and dream, but I’m going to do my best to make it come true.’’

In the meantime, there are some gold medals to be collected next week.

BA opens defense
Defending state baseball champion Brentwood Academy is headed for a return to defend its Division II title after winning the region crown last week. The Eagles beat BGA 10-4 in the finals as D.J. Luna, Drew Floyd and Philip Henninger all belted home runs. BA visits McCallie in sectionals.

BGA reached the finals when junior Joseph Moon belted a grand slam homer in the sixth inning, rallying the Wildcats past rival MBA 6-3.

Ensworth captures lacrosse
Ensworth won the girls state lacrosse championship, beating Memphis Hutchison 13-6 in the finals last Saturday at Harpeth Hall. Eliza Morgan, Brandi Byner and Olivia Carmichael all scored three goals for the winning Tigers, while Keely Shearer added two more and goalie Carell Brown made 16 saves.

John Paul II won its first state boys lacrosse championship with a11-4 win over Ensworth. Ryan Sterrett was named offensive MVP and goalie Taylor Holmes was defensive MVP.

Ryan wins rugby
Ryan won the state rugby title, downing Maryville 27-7 in the finals, with the Irish’s Mark Mulloy being named MVP.

MBA, BGA netters advance
MBA had two players, Richard Brunsting and Russ Anderson, advance to the state DII tournament individuals by reaching the semis last week in the region at Chattanooga Baylor.

BGA’s Maxx Lipman (boys) and Anna Marie Herbold (girls) also advanced to state in singles play. State tennis will be held at MTSU, beginning next Tuesday. Lipman is the younger brother of nationally ranked and Vanderbilt bound star Ryan Lipman.

MBA finished third behind Knox Webb and McCallie in the team competition, while BGA placed fifth, also qualifying for team quarterfinals. BGA visits regular season region champ Knox Webb on Thursday.

Foltz wins award
CPA senior Cameron Foltz has won the eighth annual Matthews Courage Award, which was presented by District 9-A/AA coaches at last week’s softball tournament.

Foltz lost her mother last October after a heart attack. According to the award, Foltz “despite her loss, continued to inspire her volleyball and softball teammates with her perseverance and courage in the face of such a great challenge.’’

Norris assistant at Goodpasture
Veteran baseball coach Jim Norris, who retired after coaching McGavock High for 17 years, is working as an assistant at Goodpasture where he is serving under Richie Estep for the defending AA state champs.

Independence signees
Last week, Independence High had five athletes to sign college grants: Grace Perilli (volleyball) to Virginia Commonwealth, Chris Sinsheimer (wrestling) to Lindsey Wilson, Johnathan Norman (football) to Lane; Cameron Williams (football) to Campbellsville. Carter Johnson (football) to Lane; Rob Rowland (baseball) to Lee and Landon Graham (swimming) to Xavier.