Sports Briefs - September 15, 2016

Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig & World No. 9 Madison Keys enter 2017 Volvo Car Open

Two of the world’s most exciting young tennis players have already committed to play in the 2017 Volvo Car Open – Monica Puig and Madison Keys.

Monica Puig will return to the Volvo Car Open in 2017 for her fourth tournament in Charleston. The World No. 34 made headlines this year when she won the Olympic gold medal in women’s singles in Rio, the first ever for her home country of Puerto Rico. She also reached the semifinals in Florianopolis, Eastbourne and Nottingham, as well as the finals in Sydney.

Madison Keys, the 2015 finalist in Charleston and World No. 9, will also join the player field for her fifth consecutive Volvo Car Open. She holds an 8-4 record. The 21-year-old American broke into the top 10 WTA rankings in June 2016, and is in the midst of her best tennis season to date. This year, she won her second WTA title in Birmingham, reached the semifinals of the Olympics and made it to the 4th round of every Grand Slam. In addition, she made the finals in Montreal and Rome.

“I’m so excited to be returning to Charleston,” said Keys. “I love the atmosphere of the tournament and how the crowd is really behind me. I want to come back and have another shot at winning the title!”

For more information on the tournament and ticket options, visit volvocaropen.com or call 800.677.2293.

7th ANNUAL CHARLESTON MARATHON TO BENEFIT ENGAGING CREATIVE MINDS TO SUPPORT FINE ARTS PROGRAMS IN LOCAL CHARLESTON AREA SCHOOLS

The Charleston Marathon (www.CharlestonMarathon.com) recently announced that Harris Teeter (www.HarrisTeeter.com) will continue as presenting sponsor for the 7th Annual Charleston Marathon. This fundraising event will be held January 13-15, 2017 in Charleston and North Charleston. The event was originally created in 2011 to benefit the Youth Endowment for the Arts (YEA), a non-profit endowment that works to support equitable, quality fine arts programming for Charleston Area Children.

“Over the past five years, Harris Teeter has proudly supported the Charleston Marathon as the Presenting Sponsor,” said Danna Jones, Communications Manager for Harris Teeter. “For Harris Teeter, being a part of the Charleston Marathon is meaningful as the commitment is two-fold; we have the opportunity to reinforce our commitment to local Charleston schools, while at the same time encouraging healthy activity and exercise for the entire Charleston community.”

The yearly donation to YEA has funded arts enrichment in classrooms throughout Charleston County and individual school grant requests to fund specific arts related equipment needs promoting increased exposure to fine arts and positive academic achievement. The Charleston Marathon has raised over $470,000 since 2011.

There are also some positive growth and transitions in the works for the Charleston Marathon. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, founder of YEA announced, “Over the past several years YEA has built a dynamic relationship with ECM to bring outstanding arts integration programs into our schools. In looking at the mission and visions of both ECM and YEA, we came to the conclusion that both groups would be stronger and our community would be better served if we combined our efforts into a united partnership. ECM has grown to have a national presence, and the board of ECM has a bigger reach in the Charleston Community and beyond.” Mayor Summey also sits on the board of ECM.

Continuing in the vein of positive growth, the Charleston Marathon also announced it will be moving to a bigger and better venue in 2017 for the Youth Marathon and Health and Fitness Expo - the Charleston Area Convention Center.

Planning for the 7th Annual Charleston Marathon is underway and will take place January 13-15, 2017. Other title sponsors include Vapor Apparel, Community Coffee and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Charleston Marathon events begin on Friday, January 13, 2017 with the Health and Fitness Expo, and the Charleston Youth Marathon. Given the growth of the event, Friday’s events are relocating to the Charleston Area Convention center. The expo will feature student fine arts works and student performance groups. The Charleston Youth Marathon was also developed to promote student involvement and create a link between health and the arts. This modified marathon encourages students to run or walk 25 miles on their own, logging their progress the months before the race, and running the final 1.2 miles at the Charleston Youth Marathon.

On Saturday, January 14, 2017 the 5k will start in North Charleston at the North Charleston High School, while the half marathon and full marathon will begin near Joe Riley Stadium and traverse the cities of Charleston and North Charleston, and finish at North Charleston High School. The routes will also contain venues along the route featuring student fine art performance groups. All races share a common finish line. There will be a post-race festival that will include vendors, live musical entertainment, food and drinks and student performances.

The Charleston Marathon events conclude on Sunday, January 15, 2017 with a 20, 40 and 60 mile bike ride that starts and finishes in downtown Charleston.

To register to run, donate, volunteer, or for more information, visit www.CharlestonMarathon.com.

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