Matanzas senior Emma Wood raised her batting average to .642 with a pair of extra-base hits in the district softball final.
COOKSEY OVERCOMES HURDLES
Ormond Beach resident Paige Cooksey was recovering from ACL surgery this past summer.
Now, she is ranked 16th in the nation among NCAA Division III track and field athletes in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.28.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology sophomore is in her first year as a college athlete after last season was canceled due to COVID. She would have missed the outdoor season anyway after her January, 2021, surgery.
“She’s obviously fully recovered,” said MIT first-year track and field director J.J. Hunter. “She’s done an amazing job coming back from that.”
Cooksey, who graduated from Spruce Creek High School, has won just about every week, including the April 30 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference championship. She also helped the 4x400 relay team win at conference.
“She is such an unbelievable competitor,” Hunter said. “She’s a joy to coach. She works incredibly hard every day. She’s very consistent, very intentional with what she does. She never goes through the motions. She does everything with a purpose.”
The mechanical engineering major was also named to the NEWMAC All-Conference Academic Team.
“She has an incredibly high ceiling with a ton of potential,” Hunter said. “She’s a great athlete. Over the next two years we will improve her hurdle mechanics, and she’ll get even better.”
WOOD'S HOT BAT
Matanzas defeated North Marion 7-2 to win the District 4-4A softball championship May 4. The Pirates hosted Jacksonville Paxon on May 11 in a regional quarterfinal.
Emma Wood went 2 for 3 with a double, a triple, three runs scored and two RBIs in the district final to raise her batting average to a sizzling .642. She also pitched the final four innings for the Pirates. Freshman Leah Stevens started the game and struck out nine in three shutout innings.
Flagler Palm Coast lost to Ocala West Port 4-1 in the District 2-7A title game. The Bulldogs, who finished the season with a 10-10 record, defeated Sanford Seminole 8-7 in the district semifinals.
Mainland lost in the District 5-4A semifinals, 3-2 to Pine Ridge.
After rallying for seven runs in the top of the seventh to defeat Jacksonville Mandarin 7-5 in a District 1-7A baseball quarterfinal, FPC fell to Bartram Trail 5-0 in the semifinals on May 3 to end its season. Bartram went on to win the district title 6-2 over No. 1 seed Jacksonville Sandalwood.
Seabreeze fell to Orlando Bishop Moore 3-1 in the District 9-4A semifinals on May 3.