Rogers, Sales shine at Great Eight meet

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 1:43am

Unofficially, Zach Rogers and Quanisha Sales have stamped themselves as the king and queen sprinters of Nashville high school track.

Both Rogers, a muscular junior at David Lipscomb, and Sales, a petite junior at Hillsboro High, won the boys and girls 100 and 200 meter races. Those ranked as two of the top highlights of the annual Great Eight track and field meet Tuesday at Vanderbilt.

Rogers won three events. He ran a 10.83 to edge Goodpasture’s Ben Cunningham in the 100, then returned to smoke the field in the 200, running a 21.68 to win that race by almost a full second. He started his day by winning the long jump with a 22-2 leap.

“I had personal bests in both the 100 and 200,’’ said the 6-2, 175-pound Rogers, a multi-sport star with the Mustangs. “And I was just ¾-inch off my PB in the long jump. So overall a good day – but pretty tiring,’’ he laughed.

“The thing I need most work on is my start,’’ he said. “My corner turn is getting there, and the straightaway speed is there. I’ll just keep working hard.’’

The tiny 5-4 Sales blew away the field in both races. She broke a six-year-old meet record by .02 with her 11.95 blitz in the 100, then she followed up with a 24.80 in the 200, with Ensworth’s Anna Bowers a distant second in both.

“It feels great to win both races,’’ said Sales, who has won the Great Eight 100 three straight years. She also has been first, second and first in the 200, although she wasn’t close to a PB in either race Tuesday. “In state, I’ll be very determined.’’

The meet brought together runners from the area with the eight best times and distances so far this spring.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Harpeth Hall’s Elle Del Favero won the 400, was second in the long jump, and Morgan McVicker tied for first in the pole vault (at10-6, second on more misses). Ryan’s Kevin Carney broke the high jump record by four inches with a 6-8 leap; CPA’s Ryan Cook jumped 14-0 in the pole vault, missing the record by two inches; Independence star Kathy Kroeger set a record in the 1600 (4:58.91) and Pearl-Cohn’s Corey Cecil was second in the 300 and third in the110 hurdle events.

METRO HALL OF FAME: Traveling from halfway around the world to receive a special honor was not a tough decision for Dianne Fowler.

The former Dianne Frierson was one of 12 inductees into the Metro Nashville Public Schools Hall of Fame in ceremonies Tuesday at the Titans Coliseum West Club.

Frierson is the career scoring leader at Hillwood High as well as the old NIL career leader with 2,984 points. Two-time NIL MVP, she was also a standout in track, cross country, volleyball and tennis.

What Fowler has accomplished since finishing at Hillwood in 1976 is even more impressive. In 1978, she was on the UCLA team that won the old AIAW (now NCAA) basketball championship.

She was an assistant coach at Arizona, later coached tennis in the ITF. She is currently living in Izmir, Turkey, where she received her Ph.D. last year and is coaching the Turkish men and women’s wheelchair tennis teams.

It took four flights and about 20 hours of air travel to get back to her hometown to receive Tuesday’s honor.

“I was going to do whatever it took to get back here,’’ she said after the luncheon. “When people ask me where I’m from, I always tell them Nashville.

“What makes this honor so special is that it is a Metro honor,’’ she said. “During the 1970s, many changes were taking place, and busing (taking students from one school district and driving them by bus to another) was introduced it is from Metro Schools.

“Many of my friends were opting for private schools, but my parents, who were both educators, were convinced that staying in public schools, with the diversity and different culture would give me an education beyond just books. For success in academics, athletics and family life, I learned to develop a love and respect for people that helps me serve others all over the world,’’ said Fowler, 49.

David Vaughn, a two-time state tournament MVP who led old Cameron High to consecutive boys state basketball titles and a two-year record of 61-1 in 1970 and ’71, was also honored.

“I owe so much to my teammates, who were so unselfish and dedicated to our goals, and to coach (Ronnie) Lawson who provided the strong leadership,’’ said the 7-foot Vaughn, 55. His son, David, III, a former all-state star at Whites Creek, could be a future honoree.

Other honorees included: Antioch pitcher Tommy Bolton (1980), Donelson football star Austin Denney (1962), Howard all-sports star Roy Herald (1950), Overton pitcher John Mitchell (1983), sports writer Tommy Squires of Madison (1966) and three-sport star Porter Williams of Pearl (1969).

Bellevue basketball star Margaret Sexton Gleaves, along with Bellevue, Dupont, Donelson and Antioch principal Jimmy Edwards, Cameron football star Harold Rice and Ronald Lawson (Pearl High basketball star, 1959) were all honored posthumously.

Joe Fisher was emcee.

GLENCLIFF’S FALLS RESIGNS: Glencliff Coach Glenn Falls has resigned as girls basketball coach, but will remain as Colts’ basketball assistant as well as continue to coach volleyball.

HOOPER RESIGNS, TOO: Hillwood High boys basketball coach Chris Hooper has resigned to take the same job at Portland High. “It was a great opportunity for me, with great community support,’’ said Hooper, who was 10-44 in two years. “It was hard to leave Hillwood, but they have some outstanding underclassmen.’’

HENLEY SIGNS: Hunters Lane’s leading scorer Josh Henley will sign today at 10 a.m. to play basketball at Gardner-Webb. Henley had originally committed to Tennessee Tech for football before opting for basketball at Gardner-Webb.

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