McDuff runs toward Virginia

River Hill standout passes on William & Mary

county has 6 state champs on mat


High Schools

March 06, 2001|By Stan Rappaport and Kevin Van Valkenburg | Stan Rappaport and Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

River Hill's Lee McDuff, the county's premier girls distance runner who has earned 10 state titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track, will attend the University of Virginia in the fall.

William & Mary recruited McDuff more heavily than Virginia and offered the 17-year-old a scholarship, but she went with her heart.

"I liked everything about Virginia a lot more, and my parents told me to go where I would be the happiest," said McDuff, who has a 3.92 grade-point average. "I just liked the idea of a big ACC school. That was a major reason I liked Virginia better."

McDuff said Virginia has a new coach this year and scholarship money wasn't available. "But I'll work toward that for my sophomore year," she said.

McDuff, who will run cross country and indoor and outdoor track at Virginia, didn't have running on her mind when she went to River Hill as a tech-magnet student.

"I was just going to do soccer," said McDuff, who played on the JV soccer team her freshman year. "I did indoor track [as a freshman] because my brother [DeForest, a year older] did it."

After winning her first outdoor state title her freshman year in the two-mile run, McDuff quit soccer.

"I was OK in soccer, but I had a much better future in running," she said.

McDuff's 10 state titles include two in outdoor track, seven in indoor track and one in cross country. She has been named All-Metro in all three categories.

State wrestling

Hammond came up just short in its quest to win a 2A-1A state wrestling title, but wrestlers from Howard County were still the toast of the state tournament Saturday, winning six individual titles, more than any other county in the Baltimore area. And Howard County could've won even more had a few close matches gone its way.

Hammond's Ryan Mackin (135) and Jimmy Davis (125), Atholton's Bryan Radik (130) and Adam Roth (145), Oakland Mills' Robert Scott (heavyweight) and Wilde Lake's Matt Ennis (119) all took home first-place trophies, but Mount Hebron's Mike Mengal (152), Atholton's Mark Carbone (171), River Hill's Ryan Green (130) and Oakland Mills' Jeff Plasse (103) all came in second, each losing close matches in the final.

In fact, Green and Plasse wrestled in two the closest finals of the tournament. Green's match, a 3-1 loss to Westlake's John Peters, easily could have gone into overtime. With 20 seconds remaining, Green appeared to score on a takedown that would have tied the score, but officials ruled the wrestlers were out of bounds, and Peters was able to hold for the victory.

Plasse's match was even closer, as the Oakland Mills freshman took an 8-7 lead with 15 seconds remaining, nearly pinning North Hartford's Steve Conrad. But Conrad, only a sophomore, was able to score on a reversal, winning a thrilling match. Third-place finishers included Oakland Mills' Neal Nakagama (112), Hammond's Russell Tebeleff (119), Joey Killo (145) and Scott Wallace (171) and River Hill's Scott Cannon (heavyweight).

Coming in a very respectable fourth were Atholton's Doug Ramsey (103), Mount Hebron's Zach Wendell (119) and Hammond's Marshall Porter (152).

All-Star wrestling

Private school state champions Luke Palumbo (125) of Annapolis Area Christian School, Ryan Herwig (140) of Mount St. Johseph and Colin Doyle (heavyweight) of Loyola will lead their team against contingents from the public schools in the Senior All-Star Classic at 6:30 tonight at River Hill.

The classic annually pits the highest-placing seniors from the 4A-3A, 2A-1A and private and parochial schools against each other and has been dominated by the public schools in the past.

Girls basketball

Joe Russo has stepped down for the second time as girls basketball coach at Hammond.

Russo coached the Golden Bears for 12 years, including three state titles, before resigning after the 1998-99 season. He agreed to coach the team this season when Mike Mongelli stepped down for personal reasons.

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