Local college notebook: Blue Hen discus star, Smyrna grad McFolling-Young eyes NCAA East meet

Only a couple years ago, Myrissa McFolling-Young was competing to be the best in the state of Delaware.

Now the former Smyrna High standout is trying to earn a spot among the best women’s discus throwers in the country.

A sophomore at the University of Delaware, McFolling-Young will be competing in the NCAA East Preliminary Round track & field meet in Jacksonville, Fla. next weekend.

McFolling-Young is the youngest Blue Hen to reach the event since Vicky Caruso in 2010. Her throw of 163-feet, 2-inches qualified her to compete in the East meet.

Myrissa McFolling-Young

The discus competition is slated to start on Friday at noon. The top-12 finishers in each event qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships in Austin, Tex.

McFolling-Young will be joined in Florida by UD teammates Ashley Bailey (pole vault) and Michaela Meyer (800 meters).

A Middletown High grad, Bailey is just the seventh athlete in program history to reach the NCAA Preliminary Round in back-to-back seasons. She enters next week ranked 22nd in the pole vault with a school-record mark of 13-5 ¼”.

Bailey has four wins this spring and a school-record 27 victories in her career. She is just the second pole vaulter in school history to reach this stage, joining only Casey Bennett in that category.

“I’m so proud of the hard work and dedication put forth by the entire team all spring long,” said UD coach Wendy McFarlane-Smith. “When you have teammates pushing each other, great things can be achieved and that’s exactly what helped these three get to this point. I’m excited to see what they can accomplish this week in Florida.”

Three Hornets honored

Delaware State left hander Garrett Lawson (Dover) was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year earlier this week.

Joining Lawson on the All-MEAC first team is DSU third baseman Jared Gillis (Smyrna), while Hornet catcher Adrian Hill (Polytech) was a second-team selection.

Lawson is the second Hornet to earn MEAC Pitcher of the Year honors, joining Dan Perkins in 2009.

A three-time MEAC Pitcher of the Week, Lawson was 7-3 with a MEAC-best 1.85 ERA to rank 18th among all NCAA Division I hurlers as of May 13. The junior also leads the league with a .196 opponent batting average and is tied for the conference high with 97 strikeouts.

Lawson is averaging 11.2 strikeouts and 6.5 hits per nine innings to rank in the top 60 among Division I players.

Gillis hit .305, highlighted by a .381 average vs. MEAC opponents, and ranks sixth in the league with 35 RBI and tied for seventh in the conference with 12 doubles this season.

Gillis has hit safely in 25 games this season, tallying two-or-more hits in 13 contests.

Hill is batting .275 in MEAC contests and .265 overall with a .393 slugging percentage this season. The senior tied for fifth on the Hornets with seven doubles.

CR’s Steele wins award

Caesar Rodney High grad Delaney Steele, a sophomore on the Wilmington University women’s lacrosse team, was recently named the Rookie of the Year as well as a first-team all-conference selection by the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

A midfielder/attacker, Steele broke the school assists’ record several times this year, posting a season-high 10 assists against Caldwell on April 13. In the same game, she also broke the single-game program record for points with 13, as she recorded three goals, as well.

She also broke the single-season record for assists with 75 to go along with 35 goals for a total of 110 points. Steele redshirted last season after transferring from Delaware.

Downstaters earn honors

Also at Wilmington, Dover High grad Kendall Small was a first-team all-CACC selection in baseball.

The senior first baseman led the league with 53 RBI, batting .363 with a .435 on-bas percentage, and a .555 slugging percentage. He is also second in the CACC with 18 doubles while also ranking fifth with 66 hits, and 101 total bases.

His 50 runs scored are sixth in the CACC.

Wildcat teammate Quintin Ivy (Caesar Rodney) was a second-team all-CACC pick. The outfielder, a transfer from George Washinton batted .391 with a .471 on-base percentage and a .690 slugging percentage.

In 87 at-bats, he has 34 hits with six doubles, one triple, and six homers for 25 RBI. He has also scored 36 runs. Three of his home runs have come in his last six games played for the conference-champion Wildcats.

Notes

• The Wesley College men’s track & field team finished third at the ECAC Championships this week. Kai Cole and Thomas Kalieta Jr. won ECAC titles in the 100 (10.88 seconds) and 400-meter dashes (48.71), respectively. Kalieta also took second in the 200-meter dash (21.61).

In the relays, Kalieta, Javonte Freeman, TySean Cousar and John Heriot picked up a win in the 4×400-meter relay (3:18.60). Freeman, Cousar, Heriot and Isaiah Bodie finished second in the 4×100-meter (43.17).

Freeman and Heriot took home second place in the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash respectively. Briana Artis was the lone Wesley women representative at the meet and earned second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.69 seconds.

• The Delaware baseball team only has four seniors to honor before today’s noon home game with Charleston: Kevin Mohollen, Erik Bowren, Matt Rykaczewski and Cole Benjamin. The Hens will also honor junior Brandon Walter, who is just the fourth player in program history to reach 100 strikeouts in a single season.

• Smyrna High football coach Mike Judy had this to say about his former star running back Will Knight, who announced this week he’s transferring from Old Dominion to Delaware: “We talk in our program about being a football family forever, and for many people this is like a brother or a son coming home. He’s the type of individual that makes a good team great and a great team champions with his work ethic and selflessness.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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