Griebel, Shavdia claim Baltimore County titles

Pikesville, Catonsville capture doubles crowns


November 04, 2001|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Patapsco's Jessica Griebel has heard all the talk before.

She's been told by classmates and acquaintances that she should play a "real sport" and not waste her time with badminton. She has a message for them.

"Come and play me," she says. "I'll change your mind."

Yesterday, Griebel changed a lot of minds, defeating Dulaney's Clare Boronow, 17-14, 15-4, to win the Baltimore County girls badminton championship at Pikesville.

The sport, offered in Baltimore County schools since 1974 (boys began play in 1984), is growing. Sixteen of 23 county schools have a team; three more schools plan to add the sport next season.

"I've always liked it," said Griebel, who even attended a badminton camp last summer. "I used to always play it in the back yard. It's something different."

Sanderson says the jokes used to bother her.

"It was really bad in ninth grade," said Sanderson, now a senior. "Then the ones who were teasing us tried it. Now they're on the team."

Griebel, with a 14-1 regular-season mark last year, finished third in the 2000 tournament, one spot behind Boronow.

In other matches, Franklin's Dewang Shavdia defeated Dulaney's Josh Chang, 15-11, 15-5, to win his second straight boys county title. Shavdia used a dominating forehand to move around Chang, who fought off four match points to make it 14-7 but could get no closer.

"He's an excellent player," Shavdia said. "We split in the regular season, so I felt I had something to prove today."

In the mixed doubles, Pikesville's Jen Friedman and Keith Freundlich defeated Franklin's Courtney Godwin and Simeon Harrar, 7-15, 15-3, 15-7, for the championship.

Pikesville got another set of champions when Drew Putzel and Jordan Manekin defeated Hereford's Mark Bye and Jeff Schleigh, 15-10, 15-3, to win the boys doubles. Putzel also won the boys doubles championship last season, but with a different partner.

The Panthers have dominated the county, having lost one dual match in the past seven seasons.

Betsy Sanderson and Patty Ruehl of Catonsville defended their girls doubles title by defeating Dulaney's Rachel Geisz and Yon Park, 15-11, 17-14.

"We've played them twice before this year, and beaten them both times," said Ruehl. "They've improved a lot since the last time we've played."

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