Sarah Madebach (right) and Abby Alexander keep pace with each other through the first lap of a cross country meet.
Columbia County athletes struck gold last week, and they also tapped into some silver and bronze at the Greater Augusta Medals for Excellence in Sports awards ceremony.
The 2002 G.A.M.E.S. awards were presented Tuesday at the Greater Augusta Sports Awards Gala at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel, where Columbia County stars stole the show by walking away with half of the 18 medals handed out to area athletes.
Sarah Madebach, Katie Sutherland, Roy Cheney and Steven Rogers all earned gold medals, and Madebach added a silver medal. Abby Alexander and Holly Gindlesperger also took silver, while Crystin Cromer and Sarah Beth McKinney each won a bronze.
The G.A.M.E.S. awards are presented quarterly, and gold medal winners throughout the year were eligible to take top honors for 2002 last week.
Madebach, a junior at Augusta Christian School, picked up a gold medal as All-Around Female Athlete. She won silver in the Outstanding Female Athlete category. She excels in cross country, basketball and track with the Lady Lions, and has claimed a pair of state titles in both cross country and track.
Columbia County swept the All-Around Female Athlete awards - Evans High School senior and cheerleading standout Holly Gindlesperger won silver, and Augusta Christian senior Crystin Cromer, a three-sport athlete at AC, won the bronze medal.
Rogers, a senior at Evans High School, was gold-medal winner as All-Around Male Athlete. The gridiron standout led all area high school receivers in yardage and catches the past two years, and has signed to play football at Eastern Carolina University. Rogers also was a starter for the Evans basketball team.
Sutherland, a senior at Greenbrier High School, received gold as Outstanding Female Athlete. She was a four-year starter in softball for the Lady Wolfpack, and was named 2002 Region 3-AAAA Player of the Year. Sutherland also is one of Greenbrier's top basketball players. She has signed to play softball at Tennessee Tech.
Cheney, a 2002 Evans High School graduate, earned gold by being named Outstanding Male Athlete. During his senior track season with the Knights, he won state titles in the 110- and 300-meter hurdle events. He currently is attending Clemson University on a track scholarship.
Alexander and McKinney were recognized at the gala with Rising Star awards. Alexander, a sophomore at Augusta Prep, secured a silver medal. She competes in track, basketball and cross country, and won a state track title last year in the 1,600-meter race. McKinney, a freshman at Augusta Christian, won the bronze medal. She is a member of the cross country, basketball and track teams at AC.
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