SwimmingWinning is nothing new for the Retriever Aquatic...


June 24, 1993|By Rich Scherr


Winning is nothing new for the Retriever Aquatic Club. In recent years, the youth swim program -- heavily fortified with Howard County athletes -- has improved by leaps and bounds, posting top finishes at national-level meets.

Last weekend, the team again showed why some consider it in a class with the nation's elite.

The Retrievers took third at the Ultra Swim Long Course Meet at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center in Charlotte, N.C., competing against 87 of the nation's top teams -- whose members included Olympic gold-medal winners Melvin Stewart, Nicole Haislett and Jenny Thompson -- a handful of Canada's best and the Costa Rican national team,The Retrievers, who train out of UMBC, swam to 18 top-10 finishes in scoring 364 points. Fort Lauderdale won the meet with 1,242. Club Wolverine was second with 545, host Mecklenburg was fourth with 358, and the Massachusetts Bay Marlins rounded out the top five with 328.

"This shows just how far we've come in the past seven years," said Retrievers coach Sid Burkot. "Three or four years ago, we couldn't have done nearly as well. Now we can go to a meet like this and show just how much we've progressed."

A number of local swimmers performed well at the meet.

Ellicott City's Rachel Handshu, at 12-years-old the youngest swimmer in the meet, shocked her older and more experienced competition by placing sixth in the 200 breaststroke, 11th in the 100 breast, 15th in the 200 and 400 individual medleys and 23rd in the 100 freestyle.

She also swam legs on three relay teams, including the third-place 400 medley team with fellow countians Ingrid Kilpe (Columbia), Anna Butler (Columbia) and Elysia Moreland (Columbia), and the 200 medley team with Kilpe, Butler and Jen Atkins (Columbia).

Handshu's fast times also qualified her for competition in four Junior National events.

"You hate to say that one person was more outstanding than the rest because they all did so well, but she really came through for us," said Burkot of Handshu, who swam against opponents several years older in most races. "I think she surprised a lot of people."

Other top finishers for the Retrievers were Laurel's Mike Gibeau (eighth in the 100 fly, ninth in the 200 fly), Moreland (seventh in the 200 fly), Kilpe (fifth in the 100 fly), Anthony Van Lierop (sixth in the 200 breast, 10th in the 100 breast), Malchak (eighth in the 1,500 free), Columbia's David Miller (10th in the 400 individual medley), Patrick McGonigal (eighth in 1,500 free) and Frank Schneider (ninth in 1,500 free).

Gibeau also competed on the 200 and 400 medley relay and the 200 free relay teams, which all finished among the top nine.


* 10-under girls -- The Howard County Youth Program Mustangs captured the Amateur Softball Association Maryland state championship last weekend in Perry Hall.

The Mustangs won four of their five tournament games. After defeating Catonsville, 9-8, and Freedom, 17-1, they defeated Westminster, 18-7 and 20-8, in the championship round.

Heather Karabaich, Brittani Godbout, Amanda Bile, Sarah Albert and Eva Armanas led the way with big offensive performances throughout the tournament, and Jessie Goertler and Rebecca Decesare contributed with stellar defense.

Next up for the Mustangs is the Bob Hoffman Memorial Tournament in York, Pa., on July 10-11.

* 12-under girls -- The Howard County Youth Program Hurricanes won their second straight major state tournament last weekend, taking the ASA Maryland state championship in Perry Hall.

The Hurricanes won five straight games to win the double-elimination tournament, outscoring opponents 75-18, with the closest game a 13-8 win over Freedom.

In the finals, the Hurricanes defeated Catonsville, 11-3.

The team used strong defense and timely hitting to advance through the tournament. Tess Kunkle led the way on the mound, using her high arc to frustrate hitters. She pitched in all but four innings.

The infield was another bright spot, as third baseman Lisa Chapman, shortstop Colleen Cox, second baseman Kristen Foster and first baseman Robyn West contributed solid defense. Outfielders Michelle Kincaid, Tracey Bounds, Terri Daniels, Katie Elliott and Kathleen Coolahan also showed off their gloves.

Offensively, Kate Barbee led the way, driving in eight runs in nine at-bats. Erin Hetrick and Jackie Fiore also had seven hits each, and Lauren Merkle had three key hits.

The team will compete again this weekend in Catonsville, at the Pony East Zone Softball Tournament.


* 5- and 6-year-olds -- No matter the score, the game is never over until the final out in T-ball.

Just ask the Sprint Yankees of the Atholton Youth Recreation Association. Trailing 18-12, the Yankees rallied for eight runs in the final inning to defeat the Twins, 20-18, last week.

Brian Barresi stroked the game-winning hit in the bottom of the third, knocked in six runs and scored twice. J. R. Smith had three hits and three runs.

David Rogawski led the Twins with three hits and five RBI, and Matt Burns drove in six.

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