Mount Olive men’s team adds 3 recruits

MOUNT OLIVE — The University of Mount Olive men’s basketball program added three student-athletes in the early signing period. Joining the Trojan lineup this fall are two junior college transfers and a freshman that will look to add size and skill to UMO’s roster.

The first signee is Calvin Washington, a 6-foot-5 guard from Fayetteville. Washington attends Jack Britt high school and is a two-time all-conference selection for the Buccaneers. He led Cumberland County in scoring as a junior averaging over 20 points per game. Higginbotham looks to have Washington bring scoring, defense, and another weapon in transition to the Trojan line up come the 2019-2020 season.

Next is a 6-8 forward, also from Fayetteville, Johnny Hughes. Hughes currently plays for Fayetteville Tech Community College where he is averaging 16.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. He is second in the JUCO Region 10 rankings in rebounds per game and sits in the top-10 in scoring. He will bring an inside presence on both offense and defense and is one of the most athletic players in Region 10. Hughes tallied back to back games of 30 plus points and 15 plus rebounds in the 2018-19 season.

The last early season signee is Jeremiah Phifer, a 6-3 guard from Guildford Tech Community College. Phifer is currently eighth in the country in points per game (23.2) and 12th in points with 488 to date. In addition to his 23.2 points per game, Phifer adds on average 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He scored a season-high 37 points in a 119-110 win over Davidson Country CC on Jan. 24 and has scored in double-figures in all 21 games he has appeared in. He will bring his scoring ability and size to the Trojan backcourt.

College indoor track and field

HIGH POINT — University of Mount Olive duo Johnny Middlebrooks and Michele Marticke have been named the Conference Carolinas Men’s Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week, respectively, for meets held Feb. 4-10, the Conference announced today.

The Mount Olive junior from Chesapeake, Va., Johnny Middlebrooks shined in his home state this weekend at the VMI Winter Relays. Middlebrooks set an NCAA Provisional Qualifier in the 200-meter dash, winning the event with a time of 21.67 to set a new UMO school record. Middlebrooks also made his mark in the 60-meter dash, moving into third place all-time in UMO history with a time of 6.97.

Swiss native Michele Marticke vaulted his way to fourth in the UMO record books with a height of 4.05m (13’ 3.5”) as a freshman. With this mark, Marticke ranks fifth in the conference this season.

Over on the women’s side University of Mount Olive’s duo Leah Hanle and Taylor Moncrief were named the Conference Carolinas Women’s Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week, respectively, for meets held Feb. 4-10, the Conference announced today.

Mount Olive junior Leah Hanle turned in outstanding performances in both the mile and 800 meters at the VMI Winter Relays this weekend. Hanle set an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark in the mile, winning the event with a time of 4:52.81. She also moved into second-place all-time in the UMO record book in the event. In the 800m Hanle placed second with a time of 2:17.15 and also moved into second in the UMO record book. This week marks the third POTW honor for Hanle and Mount Olive this indoor season.

Junior Taylor Moncrief also had a successful weekend at the VMI Winter Relays. Moncrief set an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark for the Trojans in the triple jump with a distance of 11.84m (38’ 6.25’”) to place third in the event and break the UMO school record. Moncrief now ranks second in the conference in the triple jump for this indoor season.