With one swing of the racket, Marcos Muiña’s hopes of winning a GMAC title could have ended badly.
Muiña, a junior on Palmetto’s badminton team, had dislocated his right shoulder while returning a serve just one game into his mixed doubles championship match.
Muiña didn’t call it a day, however.
“I popped it back in and kept playing,” Muiña said. “It kind of felt numb, but didn’t hurt as much as I played on.”
Muiña persevered with help from his partner Wendy Lau and picked up a key victory that helped Palmetto secure a rare GMAC team championship Thursday at the Braddock gym.
The Panthers scored 11 points and edged perennial county champion Coral Gables by one point to secure their first GMAC title since 2010. Coral Gables had won 10 of the previous 11 GMAC titles.
Muiña and Lau rallied to beat South Miami’s Giselle Schreiber and Adrian Izquierdo 14-21, 21-17, 21-13 to win the lone individual championship for Palmetto.
Muiña and Lau are at the heart of a team made up mostly of underclassmen that could see sustained success for the next couple of years.
“I obviously didn’t want him to play hurt, but once it happened and he felt he could continue, we had to take some of the burden off him,” Palmetto coach Dave Zarco said. “Wendy did a great job picking things up in the match. They are both juniors, and I expect both to only get better.”
Coral Gables won a championship in boys’ doubles thanks to its team of Joseph Domeq and William Wu, who won their match against Killian’s Josh Roberts and Brandon Salky 21-19, 21-18.
Reagan’s Gabriel Tai, who finished third in singles last year, won the boys’ division with a 21-17, 21-10 win against Palmetto’s Sean Courtney. Coral Park’s Janice Morales defeated Varela’s Samantha Cruz 21-16, 21-6 to win the girls’ singles title.
TERRA won its first GMAC badminton title thanks to the team of Alex Corujo and Brooke McDermott, who won the girls’ doubles 21-17, 21-13 over Southwest’s Claudia and Laura Morales. McDermott earned All-Dade first-team honors in girls’ volleyball this season and is emerging as one of the county’s most versatile athletes.
Team standings: 1. Palmetto 11; 2. Coral Gables 10; 3. Southwest 5; 4. TERRA, Coral Park and Reagan 4; 7. South Miami, Varela, Killian 3; 10. Goleman, Mourning and Braddock 1.
Individual finals – Boys’ singles: Gabriel Tai (RR) d. Sean Courtney (PAL) 21-17, 21-10; Girls’ singles: Janice Morales (CP) d. Samantha Cruz (VAR) 21-16, 21-6; Boys’ doubles: Joseph Domeq and William Wu (CG) d. Josh Roberts and Brandon Salky (KIL) 21-19, 21-18; Girls’ doubles: Alex Corujo and Brooke McDermott (TER) d. Claudia Morales and Laura Morales (SW) 21-17, 21-13; Mixed doubles: Wendy Lau and Marcos Muiña (PAL) d. Giselle Schreiber and Adrian Izquierdo (SM) 14-21, 21-17, 21-13.