Pine Crest’s Montgomery vs. Heritage’s Rogers a good rivalry for years to come November 19th, 2012
TALLAHASSEE – Several yards past the finish line, near a few runners sprawled in exhaustion, the winner of the girls Class 2A state race found the girl who was expected to win sitting on the grass.
Head bowed, American Heritage’s Daesha Rogers was in tears. Pine Crest’s Julia Montgomery went over to console her before she did any celebrating herself.
“I know exactly how she feels,” Montgomery said minutes later. “I’m not very good at comforting, but I definitely feel her. I’m really proud of her, too. She’s a really good competitor. She motivates me to do even better.”
Saturday morning, those that came to Apalachee Regional Park to watch the state cross country championships saw a budding individual rivalry that should be fun for the next few years.
Montgomery, a surprising winner in 18:20.93, is a freshman, Rogers, who finished third in 18:40.88, is an eighth-grader.
“I still can’t believe it. I didn’t know it was possible,” Montgomery said of winning the state title. “It feels so good to know I gave it all I got. It was totally worth it.”
At the regional meet the previous week, the two competed to the finish line, with Rogers finishing in 18:58.20 and Montgomery in 19:00.30. Still, most expected Rogers to win the 2A championship Saturday after finishing second at last year’s state meet.
And in the first quarter-mile, it sure looked like Rogers would. She seized a clear lead from the very start, but perhaps charged out too fast, because Montgomery took the lead soon after and never relinquished it.
Rogers said afterward she didn’t know what went wrong. Sometimes, it just happens that way.
You’re not at your best on the biggest of days. She still has four more chances to win a state championship. Montgomery has three more chances to repeat.
Coming into the season, she said, she didn’t think this was possible.
“No. Not at all. Top-10 maybe? I had no idea a state title would be part of the package,” Montgomery said.
You can expect many more entertaining head-to-head matchups between Montgomery and Rogers ahead.
Pine Crest’s Chaney wins state diving title again November 12th, 2012
ORLANDO — Pine Crest sophomore Carolyn Chaney won her second consecutive girls diving state championship Saturday at the FHSAA Class 1A state swimming and diving meet, giving the Panthers a head start in their quest for a top-two finish in the team competition.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Chaney said. “I’m definitely relieved, first of all, because it was 10 times more stressful going in the second time, trying to go back-to-back. It was definitely a battle.”
Chaney, the third seed entering the event, posted 481.35 points, edging out Dakota Toner (475.90) from Pine School in Hobe Sound. Chaney also narrowly beat Toner last season, winning with 490.25 points while Toner had 488.15.
The two are teammates on the same club team and are good friends, Chaney said. On Saturday, both turned in a strong performance.
“I knew it was going to be extremely hard for both of us,” Chaney said. “The entire time, it was so close. I was bouncing from third to first to second — it was all over the place.”
Chaney’s final dive: “A back, one-and-a-half, one-and-a-half,” she said. “It was probably one of the best I’ve ever done.”
While Toner is a senior, Chaney, a sophomore, has her sights set on winning two more titles.
So which is the sweeter of her first two?
“Going the first time [to states], I didn’t expect to win. I was a little freshman and the underdog,” Chaney said. “So it was definitely emotional to see my family cheering me on and all my hard work paying off. And then again this year, it was definitely a huge accomplishment as well because it was two years in a row.”
Chaney’s teammates, Juliette Pozzuoli (339.90) and Carly Ehrlich (338.15) finished 10th and 12, respectively, Saturday.
This past weekend, Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, a former Pine Crest star, hosted a skills clinic for young basketball players at his high school alma mater.
In between handing out lunch, speaking to campers and working on drills, Knight, an admitted former Heat fan, spoke about how “bittersweet” it was for him to watch his hometown team bring the NBA championship to South Florida.
“I grew up definitely a Heat fan,” he said. “I watched a lot of Heat games with my dad. I grew up watching Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, guys like that. It’s kind of tough for me now. I definitely enjoyed seeing them win, but it’s kind of bittersweet. I used to be a Heat fan, but I’m a Pistons fan all the way now. I congratulate the guys that won this past year, but I’m all about the Pistons.”
During his rookie season, Knight had two opportunities to play the Heat. And like most NBA players, he had an opinion on what it meant for LeBron James to win his first championship.
“It’s deserved. He worked hard,” Knight said of James. “He’s been there three times, so I felt he should finally get one. He pulled through and had an amazing series. He did a great job throughout the playoffs, playing hard and stepping up to help his team win.”
Pistons guard Brandon Knight hosting weekend camp at Pine Crest June 27th, 2012
With the Miami Heat winning the NBA title, it’s been a fun week for South Florida basketball fans. For some of young basketball fans that fun can continue this weekend.
Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, a former standout at Pine Crest, will be hosting a youth skills camp this weekend at his alma mater in Fort Lauderdale.
The camp, which runs June 30-July 1 includes two days of instruction with Knight and select coaches. It’s open to young hoopsters between 7-17 and will cost 0 and Efrem Knight, Brandon’s father and one of the camp directors, says it will be a positive experience–especially for youngsters who grew up watching Knight at Pine Crest.
“Kids should expect to come out and work hard,” said Efrem Knight said. “We have professional trainers that are going to teach the kids some fundamentals. They’re going to have fun, but they’re going to learn about basketball and get to know Brandon. It’s not the kind of camp where he’s in and out. It’s not just him putting his name on it. He’s going to eat with the kids, talk with the kids, and work with them. If he sees them doing the drills wrong, he’ll go out there with them.”
For more information, or to register, check out brandoneknight.com.
October is coming to a close, but across Broward County, more schools and athletic programs continue their fundraising efforts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Pine Crest is one of those schools that had a positive response at its fundraiser earlier this month. On Oct. 14, the Pine Crest cheerleaders held a bake sale on campus then sold pink cowbells during the varsity football team’s game against Gulliver Prep.
The result? A 0 check for the American Cancer Society.
Both the cheerleaders and football team have worn pink throughout the month.