Long-standing school records fell and state championships were won, as Country Day concluded its 2016-17 athletics year on a high note.
On Saturday, May 20, the girls’ lacrosse team won its fifth consecutive North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship, the boys’ tennis team won its first state title since 2011, and the boys’ lacrosse team reached the state title game. Additionally, one individual and two relay teams secured state championships at the state track and field meet.
Familiar foes Country Day and Charlotte Latin met for the third time of the season, as Country Day secured the girls’ lacrosse state championship with a win over the Hawks. Latin lost the first two matchups by just five combined goals, but Country Day was able to get off to a great start in the state title game and led wire-to-wire in the 15-6 win.
Eight Buccaneers scored in the game, led by seniors Carter Williams (4 goals) and Jaclyn Perkins (3). Seven Bucs were recognized as All-State: Caroline Foster ’18, Charlotte Pedlow ’18, Perkins, Virginia Poole ’17, Thea Reddin ’18, Grace Tabor ’17, and Williams.
The NCISAA first sanctioned girls’ lacrosse as an official sport in the spring 2009 season. Since that time, there have been nine NCISAA championship games, and Country Day has appeared in each, winning seven.
Prior to this season, the Bucs had reached the boys’ tennis state championship round in two of the last three years, but had come up one step short of the title both times. This year, the top-seeded Bucs, featuring a talent-filled lineup of players from all four upper school grade levels, were able to break through on Saturday to beat Providence Day, 5-0.
Country Day secured the first two doubles points, winning line two, 8-2, and line one, 8-5. The line three pair of Jackson Motchar ’17 and Tarun Prakash ’19 initially trailed 4-1 before storming back to win, 8-6. The Bucs continued their winning ways in the singles phase, with Bennett Turner ’20 sealing the first win at line six (6-1, 6-0), and Prakash earning a 6-2, 6-0 championship-clinching victory at line five.
Coach Calvin Davis and the girls’ tennis team won their fourth consecutive state title this past fall, marking the 11th time the Bucs have completed the tennis state title sweep. The boys’ team finished their 2017 season with an unblemished 20-0 record. Luke McClelland ’18 and Maylin vanCleeff ’17 earned All-State recognition.
Country Day’s boys’ lacrosse team has reached the state semifinals each year since 2014. This year’s team took one step closer, defeating Providence Day in the state semifinal, 10-7, to reach the state title game. However, a very strong Christ School team held off the Bucs, 18-2, to win its first boys’ lacrosse state championship, a year after finishing as runner-up. Luca Katz ’17, Nicholas Radford ’17, and Charles Roselle ’17 each earned All-State designation for the Bucs.
Track & Field
Several Bucs turned in impressive times and marks at the NCISAA Class 3A state track meet at Winthrop University, highlighted by state championships by Zoe Weatherington ’19 (girls’ discus) and the boys’ and girls’ 4x400 relay teams.
Weatherington’s best discus throw was 116 feet, 5 inches, topping the 112 feet, 4 inch throw that won her the state title last season. The girls’ 4X400 relay team of Clarkson Graham ’20, Caroline Kosmicki ’18, Sarah Martin ’20, and Ella Dunn '17 wrapped up their meet in dramatic fashion, with Dunn making up a significant gap on the anchor leg to edge out Providence Day in 4:10.33. The effort bested a previous school record of 4:16.72, set in 2006.
Not to be outdone, the boys’ 4X400 team of Uduak Etuk ’17, Peter Mitchell ’17, Marcus Woods ’19, and Brock Allen ’18 edged out Durham Academy by .07 seconds to finish with a time of 3:23.63. The time bested the previous school record of 3:27.14, set in 1997.
Country Day finished the meet in a tie for third place in the girls’ standings, and the Country Day boys placed sixth. All nine of the Bucs’ state champions automatically earned All-State honors.
“Days like we had last Saturday are a lot of fun for our community. Going from venue to venue, seeing our student-athletes performing at such a high level, and hearing our fans out there supporting our teams is such a great way to close out the season and the year. It’s a fitting celebration of all the hard work that goes into making our program as strong as it is.”
--Abe Wehmiller, Director of Athletics
- The Bucs’ strong state championship performances earned them 230 points in Wells Fargo Cup, the NCISAA’s annual all-sports competition. That was the second highest spring point total among all 3A schools.
For the year, Country Day finished in fourth place in the Wells Fargo Cup standings, earning a total of 467.5 points over three seasons. This was the Bucs' highest point total and highest finish since the 2013-14 school year.
In addition to the individual All-State honors listed above, the Bucs placed John Hosmer '18 on the All-State team for baseball.