Should we ask what's in store for us in the coming year? CENTRAL COUNTY -- Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

NEIGHBORS

December 31, 1992|By JONI GUHNE

Good-bye, 1992. Like all troublesome children, you'll be remembered with some affection.

Hello, 1993. There's a mischievous twinkle in your baby-blues. Should we wonder what's in store for us this year, or is it best not to know?

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Ken Barsa is a successful employee of the county Board of Education. But it's his after-hours avocation that brings him the most accolades.

This is the 14th year Mr. Barsa has coached the championship Severna Park YMCA Swim Team (SPY). First-place banners cover the walls surrounding the pool, and Mr. Barsa is credited by swimmers and their parents with the team's continuing success.

In early December, the coach accompanied one of his most accomplished swimmers, 16-year-old Nora Grannell, to the U.S. Open competition in Orlando, Fla. Nora, the daughter of Andy and Dianne Grannell of Gambrills, is the first SPY swimmer to compete on an international level.

The St. Mary's junior, who has been swimming under the guidance of Mr. Barsa for 11 years, qualified last April by becoming the 100-yard backstroke champion at the YMCA Nationals at the Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her record-breaking time was 56.41 seconds.

The Hall of Fame pool is 50 meters long, a staggering two times plus 5 yards longer than the 25-yard Severna Park pool.

"My stomach flipped when I looked at that pool," Mrs. Grannell recalled. "I didn't want to ask her what her stomach was doing."

On the electronic starting block, Nora joined accomplished swimmers and Olympians from around the world as they waited for the starting horn. In the 100-meter backstroke, she finished an impressive 18th; in the 200-meter, 22nd. She also swam in the 100-meter butterfly.

"The U.S. Open was a little bit overwhelming at first, but it's not really as overwhelming because I've been to other big meets, and everyone at this meet was real tired," Nora said.

"A lot of people were off their times because everyone was in the middle of hard training. But it was still a really, really quick meet."

In August, Nora swam in the Senior National Long Course Meet in Mission Viejo, Calif. Had it not been an Olympic year, the meet would have been the United State's top 1992 competition. It will be in 1993.

Nora swims six days a week. As a result, according to her family doctor, the 5-foot-7 teen-ager is in perfect physical condition.

In November, Nora qualified for the 1993 YMCA nationals by breaking the 200-yard backstroke meet record at the Knights of Columbus Fall Festival in Baltimore.

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Dena Marie Denton, the 19-year-old daughter of Paul and Cynthia Denton of Crownsville, has made the dean's list at Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y.

The 1991 Old Mill High graduate is majoring in elementary education.

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Pink grapefruit and navel oranges will be ready for pick-up Saturday, Jan. 16, at Archbishop Spalding High School.

Proceeds from the monthly sales, which will continue through April, benefit the students.

Orders for this sale must be placed by Jan. 8. Before Jan. 4, call 437-2438; afterward, call 969-9105.

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