Martinez-Evans Little League's facilities should soon get a boost.
The Columbia County Commission recently approved more than $52,000 in capital improvements for Crawford Creek Park, which includes six fields. The park is leased from the county by Martinez-Evans Little League. The league submitted a presentation to the board on Sept. 8, and funding was approved a week later.
Barry Smith, the county director of Community and Leisure Services, said the money would come from 1-cent sales tax recreation discretionary funds pending approval of a memorandum of understanding.
"All-in-all, it's promoting sports activities in the county," Smith said.
Six hundred players participated with MELL this past spring, and 350 are participating in the fall season. In addition to the Crawford Creek complex, the league leases the two fields at Kelley Park, which is privately owned.
The county allocated $42,000 to improve Crawford Creek Park four years ago, with two new fields being added.
The proposed improvements this time include $38,000 for hardscape/sidewalks, $7,260 for a safety net and $7,100 for a playground area. The league also requested $12,000 for utilities and lawn maintenance, but SPLOST money can be used only for capital improvements.
Lakeside runners ranked second in AAAA
The gatfxc.com rankings released last week showed Lakeside High School coaches about what they expected.
Lakeside's girls and boys were ranked second in Class AAAA behind perennial power Marist.
The Panthers ran against their top competition Sept. 12 at the Coach Benson Double Dip Invitational, held at Marist.
Lakeside coaches Jerry Meitin and Ken Bowles knew they had the top three runners in the state, and Panthers runners Anna Bowles, Katie Townsend and Sarah Bowles all finished in the top 5.
Anna Bowles finished second with a time of 19:10.
Marist's top five proved the strongest, finishing with 71 points to edge Lakeside (82).
Lakeside's boys did not have a top-10 finisher, but did enough to surprise Lakeside-Dekalb for second. The win propelled the No. 2 Panthers ahead of the other Lakeside in the Class AAAA rankings.
Prep runners strong in home event
Augusta Prep boys and girls runners finished strong at the Augusta Prep Cross Country Invitational, a meet held Sept. 12 that featured more than 400 runners.
Augusta Prep's girls finished second overall. The Cavaliers boys finished fifth.
Augusta Prep's Amanda Murphy finished second with a time of 20:14. She finished behind First Presbyterian's Grace Tinkey, a freshman who set an Augusta Prep course record by finishing in 18:18.
The previous record had been held by former Augusta Christian runner Rebekah Madebach.
Aiken finished first on the boys side. The Hornets were led by Sam McGill, who finished in 17:32 and was second overall in the individual competition.
Augusta Christian football was ranked No. 8 in last week's South Carolina Independent School Association top 10. ... Evans softball travels to Greenbrier on Wednesday for the final regular season game for both teams. ... The Region 3-AAAA softball tournament begins Saturday at Patriots Park.
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