Bennett cruises to table tennis gold

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
June 20, 2004
State Games of Mississippi table tennis continued to gain popularity with 21 competitors on Saturday morning at the Frank Cochran Center.
Participants played in double-elimination tournaments in one of seven age groups during the event.
"I think it went fairly well," said event commissioner James Hearn. "We had two more people than we did last year and it went really well."
The biggest age group was the men's category which had five competitors.
Herb Bennett cruised through the competition to pick up the gold medal. He beat Hearn three-straight games in the best-of-five championship match.
Len McRae was able to pick up the bronze medal in the men's category.
In the boys' 13 year-old category, James Taylor beat Brandon Kneipp three games to two in the first match and then beat Kneipp 3-1 to take the gold. Kneipp finished with the silver medal.
Mark Kneipp beat Steven Peebles 3-0 in the championship match of the boys' 15 year-old category. Paris Hearn finished with the bronze medal for the age group.
Tony Peebles beat Ian McLaughlin in three games and then won 3-1 in the championship match with McLaughlin to take gold in the boys' 17 year-old age group.
In the 18-19 year-old category, Steven Underwood took the gold medal. The 19 year-old from Olive Branch beat Cooper Brookshire in the championship match.
Yancy Whitaker took the bronze medal for the age group.
Wassim Chao took gold in the 20-22 age group by beating silver medal winner Joseph VanDewalker 3-0, 3-0.
Lakeyia Anderson took gold in the girls' division by beating Jennifer Hearn. Seven year-old Joshua Hearn finished with the bronze medal after competing with the girls because they were closest to his age group.
According to James Hearn, a few changes will probably be put into place next year to make the event even better.
"We're going to try to do a round-robin next year," said Hearn. "It will be more competitive and more enjoyable. It's going to get better and better."

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