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Cavs Corner: Spencer Jennings ’23 Sets a School Record in 200 freestyle

BY DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS ANDY POGACH AND ATHLETICS INTERNS COLLEEN GUNNING AND RYAN KILLEN 
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics 
 

We are concluding a fun week in DA athletics, with three big events over the previous seven days. Last Thursday, DA swim teams hosted their lone home meet of the season. After honoring the five seniors, the AquaCavs had a strong performance in the pool highlighted by a school record from ninth-grader Spencer Jennings in the 200 freestyle. 

On Friday night, hundreds of Lower Schoolers helped pack Kirby Gym as the varsity girls and boys basketball teams defeated Trinity School on Lower School Night at the CavDome. That was followed by Wednesday’s win by the girls team over Saint Mary’s School, with many of coach Nikki Graves’ pre-kindergarten students in attendance to cheer on the Cavs for Preschool Day at the CavDome! 

We are hoping the next seven days are as exciting as the last. Our swim teams head to North Raleigh Christian Academy today for their last regular season meet before preparing for next week’s Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference meet. Both hoops teams will have road tests at NRCA (Friday) and Ravenscroft School (Tuesday). 

Varsity Boys Basketball

The varsity boys basketball team keeps rolling along after a sixth straight win on Tuesday. The 22–4 Cavs defeated Wake Christian 78–51 on Tuesday following Friday night’s 65–35 win over Trinity School. DA is 14th in the latest High School OT Eastern NC poll and fifth in the Phenom Hoops statewide independent school rankings

Junior Cole Sinclair has been leading the way for the Cavs on the offensive end. Sinclair is averaging 20.4 points per game in the 10 games since sophomore MJ Rice went down with a season-ending injury. His 25 points were a game high in the win over Wake Christian Academy, while junior Brent Randleman added a career-high 17 points. Sophomore Nik Graves chipped in 12 points, six rebounds and six assists as the boys improved to 4–0 in league play. 

In Friday’s win over the Lions, the Cavs stormed out to a 40–7 halftime advantage. Sinclair led with 19 points, while junior Toby Harris added 11 and Randleman scored 10. Two seniors notched big performances, as Davis Beischer pulled down a career-best 12 boards and Christopher Chaves finished with 9 points, seven boards and three assists. This is a big stretch, as tomorrow night the Cavs travel to North Raleigh Christian and then DA will head to Ravenscroft on Tuesday. The DA boys have not beaten the Ravens in Raleigh since 2005. Wins in the next two games will give the team at least a share of the conference crown.

Varsity Girls Basketball

With three games vs. tough conference opponents, it has been a busy week for the  varsity girls basketball team. After home wins over Wake Christian and St. Mary's, the Cavs look to keep momentum going with a four-game winning streak heading into Friday’s matchup with conference leader North Raleigh Christian. 

Balanced scoring and full team efforts brought the Cavs two more double-digit wins, moving to 11–9 on the season and 3–2 in TISAC play. In Tuesday night's 21-point win over Wake Christian, DA took charge from the jump with ninth-grader Kendall Harris putting the team on the board in the first possession. The Cavs stepped on the gas to pull away from the Bulldogs and held them to just 9 points in the first half. Harris led the scoring with 12 points, 11 rebounds, five steals in the team's 47–26 win. 

In a similar fashion, the Cavs took down Saint Mary's the following night with a final score of 52–18. Ninth-grader Mariam Abdelbarr gave another strong offensive performance with 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. Senior Katie Hunter sparked the Cavs’ early run in the first quarter, scoring all eight of her points before the half and grabbing five rebounds. Seventh-grader McKenzie Graves continued to run the point for the Cavs’ offense to finish with 7 points, three rebounds and three assists — including a long 3-pointer to send the team into halftime ahead 33–6. Hanging tough against the contact down low, Harris and senior Claire Middleton strengthened the Cavs’ lead, adding in 6 points, four rebounds and 5 points, and 11 rebounds, respectively. The team is heading into a stretch of road games but will be back in Kirby Gym one last time this regular season on Jan. 31 for senior night vs. Cary Academy.

Varsity Swimming

Thursday night was a memorable one for varsity swimming. The boys delivered a fantastic performance, defeating Greensboro Day School 112–57 on senior night. Senior Tate Eppinger, sophomore Stewart Roessler and sophomore Alfred Honore combined for six individual first-place finishes (two each). Roessler emerged victorious in the 200 IM and 100 back, Eppinger won the 200 free and the 100 butterfly, and Honore won the 100 free and 100 breast. He is now closing in on the school record in both the 100 breast and 100 butterfly. The Cavs also won the 400 free relay to claim a convincing win over Greensboro Day. 

The girls team fell just short Thursday night, losing 89–80, but ninth-grader Spencer Jennings had a historic evening. Not only did she finish first in both the 100 and 200 free, Jennings set a Durham Academy school record in the 200 free with an incredible time of 2:00.79. It was a splendid performance from the ninth-grader, but it was not quite enough to lift the Cavs to a victory. Both girls and boys swimming will be back in action Thursday at NRCA.



Keeping up with the Cavs

As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).

  • For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit www.da.org/teams.
  • Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
  • All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).

The DA App: Schedules and Results

  • The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
  • The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.