Sports

March 10, 2013

Feeling much better

Willman out front on road to recovery; Bruins and Lady Bruins win team titles

TUNNEL HILL — Two years ago, Jonathan Willman was a budding athlete at Northwest Whitfield High School, competing for the Bruins’ basketball and track and field teams.

But in the summer of 2011, Willman’s athletic career suffered a major setback when he injured his left knee in a pickup basketball game. Surgery to repair ruptured ligaments was followed by nearly a year of rehabilitation.

He missed all of his junior year, and he hasn’t been back on a basketball court except to shoot by himself or take on friends in a game of H-O-R-S-E. Instead, he has concentrated on running and jumping without the chance of getting laid out taking a charge.

It’s a decision that is working out well for both Willman and Bruins track and field — the senior led the way for the boys Saturday, and the Lady Bruins helped make it a sweep of team titles for the hosts Saturday at the Northwest Invitational.

“I have had to spend a lot of time in rehab and workouts just to strengthen my knee to get to this point,” Willman said. “It took over 10 months of rehab just to feel good enough to test it.”

He passed his tests with flying colors at the meet as he took first-place finishes in a wide variety of events. He was first in the long jump and triple jump to win the top individual boys field performer; on the track he won the 100-meter dash and was part of both the winning 4X100 and 4x400 relay teams.

“He was very apprehensive about his knee when he first came back out, and you can understand that,” Northwest track coach Chad Brewer said. “We have kind of eased him back into it, and you see what he can do. As he gets more comfortable, he will get better and better.”

Willman won the 100 with a time of 11.06 seconds and took the triple jump with a leap of 41 feet, 6-1/4 inches. His long jump was 20-8 3/4.

The Northwest Invitational featured all of the schools within Whitfield County as well as Murray County High and Heritage-Catoosa. Northwest’s boys scored 160 points to best runner-up Heritage (137.5). Dalton finished third.

For the girls, Northwest finished 15 points ahead of Southeast Whitfield and 19 points ahead of Dalton to take the title.

While Northwest won the overall title for the girls, Southeast’s Lady Raiders won what was arguably the most exciting race of the day in the 4x400 relay. Southeast’s first three runners — Wendy Perez, Isabell Salinas and Kayleen Mullins — had staked Brittany Painter to roughly a 20-meter lead for the final leg of the run, but Dalton’s Susan Meinders, who won the 300 hurdles at last year’s Class 3A state meet, was in pursuit.

Meinders steadily closed the gap on the back stretch of the track and seemed poised to overtake Painter coming out of the last turn. But Painter held off the charge and took the victory by a couple of seconds.

“I heard her coming up behind me, and I knew I had to go,” Painter said. “She is one of the most competitive runners I know, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates giving me a big lead. That was our first time running together, and it turned out very well.”

Perez and Coahulla Creek’s A.T. Smith shared the outstanding girls field performer honors, while Meinders was the clear winner on the track after winning the 400 by more than four seconds as well as the 300 hurdles.

McKinley Hopkins led the Lady Bruins with wins in the triple jump and the 100 hurdles.

“I am very pleased with how well the girls did today,” Brewer said. “We are a very senior-heavy team, and they showed they have been in a meet before today. We have a really good shot of having a special year.”

Ketwan Burns of Heritage took the outstanding boys track performer honors.

Northwest Invitational

Text Only
Sports
  • Todd roasted 1 mlh.jpg One last 'Goodbye' for coach Todd

    Charles Todd talks to parents and coaches before his going-away party Tuesday in the Dalton High School commons area.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing Lures3cw.jpg Turner lured into love of learning fishing business

    Fishing and tall tales go hand in hand, and after nearly three decades in a business supplying local anglers, Phil Turner has heard just about all of them.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. Amateur dreams over for local golfers

    Dalton golfers Chase Miller and Will Morrow traveled to Cincinnati on Tuesday in an attempt to earn a spot in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, but neither earned one of the three qualifying spots at the 6,588-yard, par-70 course at Camargo Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Boggs now with Giants

    Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to baseballamerica.com. Contract information, along with which minor league affiliate Boggs, a pitcher, will start with, was not available in the report, and Boggs was not listed on any of the online rosters for any of the Giants’ minor league affiliates.

    July 21, 2014

  • SE wrestling practice 5 mlh.jpg Herndon leaving Raiders to coach at Calhoun; new coach named at SE Whitfield

    Michael Herndon’s successful three-year run as Southeast Whitfield High School’s wrestling coach has come to an end.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hipp makes cut at qualifying tourney

    Chatsworth golfer Colby Hipp earned the chance to play on today in a U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCAC-B&W.jpg CCAC has strong showing at 14-and-under state meet

    The Carpet Capital Aquatics Club had 16 club records broken in a 12th-place finish at the 2014 Georgia 14-and-under Long Course State Championship meet Saturday at Georgia Tech’s swimming facility.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motocross kid 6 mlh.jpg Dirt, gas and guts

    Lucas Amos is like a lot of other 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade at Tunnel Hill Elementary this school year.
    He likes to play the video game sensation Minecraft, building different structures and fending off zombies when the sun goes down. He likes to spend time with his grandparents, traveling around the Southeast with them most every weekend.
    And he likes to play in the dirt.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Devin Golden's sports updates
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel