Jonas, Cougars off to good start at CAA Championship

Reigning CAA Player of the Year John Jonas (Jacksonvill fired an opening-round, 2-under par 70 to lead the College of Charleston men’s golf team to an eight-stroke lead after the first day of tournament play at the 2015 CAA Men’s Golf Championship held on Friday at The Founders Club course at St. James Plantation.

The Cougars, defending tournament team champions, shot a first-round 293 (+5) to currently lead the field. UNCW (+13) is in second, James Madison (+14) third, William & Mary (+16) fourth, Delaware (+18) fifth, Towson (+23) sixth, Elon (+24) seventh, Drexel (+25) eighth and Hofstra (+56) ninth.

Jonas, who was last year’s individual runner-up at 3-under, made five birdies shooting even on the front nine and 2-under on the back nine. Junior Josh Lorenzetti also carded an under-par round of 71 and is tied for second individually at the par-72 course.

Senior Zach Munroe sits in a tie for 11th (+4), sophomore William Rainey tied for 11th (+4) and freshman Anthony Gabriele tied for 40th (+14).

The College of Charleston women’s golf team will host a NCAA Selection Show Watch Party 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, 4000 Briar’s Creek Lane, Johns Island.

The Cougars, who will make their second-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, will learn of their postseason regional assignment as the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship field will be announced live 7-8 p.m. Monday on The Golf Channel.

Light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served in the Briar’s Creek clubhouse. The event is free and open to the public.

South Carolina took home one relay and three individual titles Friday at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

Along with the men’s win in the shuttle hurdle relay, three other relay teams punched their ticket to finals on Saturday.

The 14th-ranked men wasted no time making their presence felt as Jussi Kanervo lit up the track for a win in the 400-meter hurdles in the first race of the day. Running in the first heat, Kanervo led wire-to-wire and beat Pitt’s Desmond Palmer for what would stand up as the top time in the field of 50. He crossed in 50.18 seconds, his second fastest time of the season.

Kanervo added to his trophy case in his next event, the shuttle hurdle relay. Teaming with fellow hurdlers Jermaine Collier, Dondre Echols and Isaiah Moore, the group won by almost three seconds, finishing in 55.53. It is the best time at the Penn Relays since 2012, and it is the first relay win for the Gamecock men at Penn since 2003.

In the other relays for the men, Carolina qualified for the finals in all three of its events, the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400. The Gamecocks finished second overall in the 4x1 and 4x2 qualifiers, and went fifth overall in the 4x4 prelims.

Josh Awotunde rewrote both the Carolina and Penn Relay record books in the discus, setting a new event record in the college division. In his second attempt of the morning, he went for 191 feet, three inches. It would stand as the winning mark, beating out Brown’s Courtland Clavette (188-8).

Following the discus, Awotunde competed in the shot put and took third overall.

The women earned a win in the throws, with freshman Shelby Freedman closing out the day with a win in the javelin. She hit 150 feet, eight inches on her second attempt of the night, and it would hold up for her second win of the season.

Jeannelle Scheper continued her unbeaten season in the high jump, winning the Championship Division with a mark of 1.86 meters (6-1.25).

Clemson’s Tevin Hester posted a season-best to take first and qualify for the 100-dash final on the second day of the Penn Relays. He was one of three Tigers to qualify for the championship in an individual event. In addition, the Tiger women took second place in a close competition in the sprint medley relay behind Oregon.

Hester’s time of 10.24 will carry him into the championship round of the 100-dash on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. Both Justin Johnson (13.76) and Samantha Elliott (13.43) also qualified to compete in the hurdles championships. Elliott will run in the women’s 100 hurdles, while Johnson will compete in the men’s 110 hurdles.

Hester was also part of Clemson’s 4x1 that qualified for Saturday’s final. The team ran a time of 40.76. The men’s 4x4 also qualified for the championship final after posting a time of 3:11.94.

Sabria Hadley, Deja Parrish, Malayshia George and Natoya Goule competed in the sprint medley championship and took second with a season-best 3:44.71. The group’s time ranks second in the Clemson record books.

Softball

Charleston Southern fell in the first game of its series to Longwood on Friday night, dropping an 8-0 decision to the Lancers in Big South Conference play in Farmville, Va.

Brooke Lein and Taylor Powell had back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the third inning for both of CSU’s hits on the night as the Bucs’ bats struggled throughout the contest against the combined pitching efforts of Libby Morris and Elizabeth McCarthy (19-12).

Jennifer Giles (13-14) took the loss for CSU in the series opener, allowing seven runs and six hit over the first 1.2 innings. Hayley Elkins closed out the game inside the circle for the Bucs with a hitless 2.1 innings pitched, striking out two in the no decision.

Due to unfavorable weather forecasts for the Lowcountry on Saturday, College of Charleston softball has moved the start of its doubleheader with UNCW to noon.

The doubleheader was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Game two will begin immediately following the conclusion of game one. The single-game series finale will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The No. 2-ranked College of Charleston coed and women’s sailing teams will compete up and down the East Coast this weekend as the Cougars received their first-ever invite to the Admiral’s Cup hosted by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday and Sunday in Kings Point, N.Y., and the SAISA Women’s Championship hosted by Eckerd College on Saturday and Sunday in St. Petersburg, Fla.