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Sports and Recreation Notebook

By By Steve Swogetinsky / special to The Star
April 15, 2004
The Northeast Tennis Center has become a hub for recreation tennis with leagues, tournaments and teaching sessions going on almost all year long.
Youth learning and playing
The Northeast complex offers youth programs for players ages four through 18.
On Wednesdays, there is the "Tiny Tot" program for players ages 4-7. This is set up a little different from regular tennis, but the basics of tennis are taught.
Then there's the after-school program for beginners through intermediates every Tuesday and Thursday. Participants work on their games in clinics on Tuesday. There is more instruction on Thursday, and then match play among the participants.
These programs will run through May 14.
The summer youth program starts up the week of June 7 with the same clinics on Tuesday and Thursday. However, on Fridays, the players will compete against other junior players from Laurel and Hattiesburg. Some of these matches will be in Meridian, while others will be in either Laurel or Hattiesburg.
For more information about the summer program, call the Northeast Tennis Center at 483-3526.
Plenty of tennis for adults
The center has several USTA adult teams competing on different levels of competition.
Hiatt said there are women's doubles teams on the 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 levels. There is also a men's 4.0 team. These teams compete in the Pine Belt Zone against teams from Laurel and Hattiesburg. The winners of the zone will advance to the state tournament in Jackson later this year.
Tuesday, Meridian's 3.5 team dropped a 3-2 decision to Laurel.
This summer, a mixed doubles league will be formed.
Hiatt said there was also a local women's doubles league that plays every Thursday morning starting at 9 a.m. More than 50 women compete in this league.
Junior tournament coming up
The Northeast Tennis Complex will host a junior tournament May 7-9, which is expected to bring in around 100 players from across the state and in Alabama.
It will be for players starting in under-10 through under-18.
Bike riders take on the clock
Local bike riders will be competing against themselves tonight in the first of a series of bike competitions in which the rider tries to beat the clock.
The seven-mile rides will be held the third Thursday of each month through September at Rabbit Road near the Meridian Naval Air Station. It will be an in-and-out ride in which the bike riders will try to better their times each month.
Several other events are coming up for bike riders, runners, tri-athletes and others:
The Bonita Classic 5K run on May 1. For more information, call Andrew Covington at 693-3916;
The Bonita Xtreme on June 6, which is an off-road triathlon. For more information, call Maurice Malone at 485-5656;
The State Games of Mississippi 5K.
The Sunfish Summer Triathlon, to be held at Okatibbee Lake on July 10. For more information, call Kirk Gosa at 696-4981.
The Heart O' Dixie Triathlon, to be held in Philadelphia on July 24.
The local running season started Saturday with the Anderson Cup. There was a good turnout for the Easter Weekend event.
The Meridian Athletic Association has a website at meridianathletic.com.
Swim team remains grounded
The Meridian Swim Association has started "dry land" training as its members wait for the competition of the renovation program at the Meridian Community College pool. The team is in training and the new coach, Kyle Wilson, has arrived.
The team will continue running, doing steps and other training exercises until the MCC pool is open.
Do you have an idea?
If you have a story idea you would like to see explored in the weekly recreation notebook, please call Steve Swogetinsky at 776-6102 or e-mail the information to sports@themeridianstar.com

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