Southwest’s badminton team was all smiles while posing for pictures on the auditorium stage at the Braddock gym Wednesday afternoon.
It was the perfect ending for an Eagles’ squad responsible for one of the best three-year runs in the school’s history in the sport.
Led by great performances from its doubles teams, the Eagles won their second consecutive GMAC championship edging rival Palmetto by three points. Southwest, which was also a team runner-up in 2014, won the girls’ doubles and mixed doubles and finished second in the boys’ doubles divisions.
"It’s been a great three years and these kids have really put in a lot of hard work," Southwest coach Marta Guinea said.
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Laura Morales, who won the girls’ doubles GMAC title last year with Madison Chamizo, repeated this season, but this time with her twin sister Claudia. The senior duo beat Goleman’s freshman tandem of Sydney Cote and Alyssa Moore 22-20, 21-16.
The Gators, however, posted one of the best finishes of any north Dade team in recent memory by placing third overall with seven points.
Patricia Miranda led Goleman’s effort by winning the girls’ singles championship with a 19-21, 21-13, 21-10 victory over Mourning’s Milana Datieva.
Chamizo was once again a GMAC champion for Southwest as she teamed with Christian Gonzalez to win the mixed doubles division with a 21-17, 21-19 win over Palmetto’s team of Sy Lam and Morgan Lang. It was Gonzalez’s second year in a row as a GMAC champ in that division.
Palmetto’s boys’ doubles team of Aaron Mares and Jeffrey Li repeated as county champions after a 21-19, 21-18 victory over Southwest’s Christian Cruz and Manuel Campos.
Killian’s Jason Harris wrapped up his career with another GMAC boys’ singles title. Harris, also a volleyball standout for the Cougars, is headed to the University of Florida and is the third member of his family to win a GMAC badminton championship. Harris, however, is the first to win multiple county titles.
"It’s great to go out with a win for my senior year," Harris said. "Now I just have to focus on volleyball and make sure we have a great finish in that sport."
▪ Team results: 1. Southwest 14; 2. Palmetto 11; 3. Goleman 7; 4. Killian 6; 4. Coral Gables 6; 6. Mourning 4; 7. South Miami 1; 7. Braddock 1.
▪ Individual finals - Boys’ singles: Jason Harris (Kil) d. Dayron Garcia (SW) 21-10, 21-10; Girls’ singles: Patricia Miranda (Gol) d. Milana Datieva (Mour) 19-21, 21-13, 21-10; Boys’ doubles: Aaron Mares/Jeffrey Li (Pal) d. Christian Cruz/Manuel Campos (SW) 21-19, 21-18; Girls’ doubles: Claudia Morales/Laura Morales (SW) d. Alyssa Moore/Sydney Cote (Gol), 22-20, 21-16; Mixed doubles: Madison Chamizo/Christian Gonzalez (SW) d. Sy Lam/Morgan Lang (Pal) 21-17, 21-19.