Prep Notebook, June 6: Two Battery Creek athletes choose USC Beaufort for track

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.com, ccox@islandpacket.comJune 7, 2013 

Shakil Gause is taking his school records and moving on to the next challenge.

The Battery Creek High School thrower, who graduated this week with school records in the shot put and discus, will join the track team at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. He was recognized during a ceremony at Battery Creek this week along with Holly Cox, a Dolphins pole vaulter who also will compete for the Sand Sharks.

USCB talked to Gause early in the season, with a Sand Sharks' thrower getting in touch after Gause set the school record in the shot put with a 53-feet, 8-inch toss at the Beaufort Track Classic. Gause visited the USCB campus after the Class 2-A state meet, where he finished runner-up in the shot put and fifth in discus.

Gause, who plans to study communications, liked the small class sizes and campus environment. On the college level, Gause also will compete in javelin and hammer, events foreign to high school athletes.

"It's going to take a lot more practice than usual," Gause said. "These are a lot of new events I hope to put up points in."

Anderson University and Limestone also showed interest in Gause. He plans to compete in Junior Olympics during the summer and lift weights before the fall.

Cox joined Battery Creek's track team after a state law passed before the school year allowed home-schooled and online students to play organized sports at public high schools. She wanted to run, but was asked in April to try pole vaulting and enjoyed it. She cleared 7 feet, 6 inches at the Beaufort County Championships to finish fourth.

Cox thinks her background in gymnastics helped pick up the event quickly. She plans to keep working before joining the Sand Sharks.

"I think with time, I'll get higher," she said.

SMITH DOMINATES IN COSTA RICA

Beaufort High School track standout Kaila Smith swept her events last month at the Central American Junior and Youth Championships in Costa Rica.

Competing in the Junior A category for ages 18 and 19, Smith won the 100-meter hurdles, the 400-meter hurdles, the heptathlon and was a member of winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Her winning times in the hurdles and 4x100 set meet records. She was named the age group MVP.

"I think I performed well considering the circumstances," Smith said. "I ran the 100-meter hurdle races 10 minutes apart and PR'd in my second race. I also competed in 11 events throughout the weekend and posted pretty good times in most races. I didn't do so well in the javelin throw, but my distance was good enough to help me win the heptathlon by one point."

Smith toured Panama during her visit and while in Costa Rica visited a museum, a local market and the mall, taking pictures and snatching up souvenirs.

Smith, who graduated Thursday and will run track at Coastal Carolina, won the 400 hurdles at the Class 4-A state meet in May and finished runner-up in the 100 hurdles.

HHCA FOOTBALL PLAYERS EARN NATIONAL HONORS

Hilton Head Christian Academy football standouts Reed Shindell and Brad Meccariello were both named to this year's NCSAA All-American football teams, it was announced this week.

Shindell, a defensive lineman for the Eagles, finished with 98 tackles, 13 for loss and 9.5 sacks as Hilton Head Christian captured a second consecutive SCISAA Class 2-A state championship. Meccariello had 94 stops of his own as a defensive back while adding 987 total yards and 15 touchdowns on offense, where he played wide receiver, running back and quarterback.

Five other Eagles were named alongside the pair to the NCSAA's Southeast Super-Region team: Tyler Chisholm (RB/K), Caleb Lewis (QB), Will McCutchen (LB), Clay Oliver (LB/OL) and Jamario Williams (WR/DB), a Wofford signee.

JONES TAKES HOME ALL-AMERICAN STATUS

Hilton Head Island High School junior Nate Jones was one of seven South Carolina lacrosse players to be selected to this year's U.S. Lacrosse All-American team.

His spot on the team is the second in as many years for the Seahawks, who saw senior Nick Bautista earn the honor a year ago.

Jones, one of 49 players on the list, finished this season with 52 goals, 21 assists and 73 points as the Seahawks advanced to the second round of the S.C. High School League playoffs. He also earned first team all-state honors and a spot at attack on the first team Lower State squad.

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