Pair is two of a kind for IND



Ever since Katie Schlaffer and Madeline Schuck met at the Institute of Notre Dame's soccer tryouts as freshmen, they have been inseparable.

As freshmen both were in the school's Theresian Program, for select honor students. Taking all of their classes together, they were seated alphabetically and so were side-by-side all day.

"Spending all that time together, we realized that we had the same interests, the same values and the same kind of personality - we're both very outgoing," Shuck said.

Both are A students and together they got involved in all aspects of student life from sports to student government to peer ministry to the National Honor Society.

"It's like they're the same person," said IND athletic director Amy Hoey, with a laugh. "They are just phenomenal kids. They're nice girls, they're mature and they take responsibility. They have a good balance of dealing with all the pressure."

After playing soccer for two years, they both switched to cross country as sophomores. Last week, the two seniors helped the Indians finish third in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship meet.

Schlaffer is president of the senior class while Schuck is a senator. Both serve on the executive board of the school's Peer Ministry, organizing campus liturgies, and outreach programs. Schlaffer is president of the Ambassadors Club and Schuck, vice president as they represent IND at regional fairs and open houses.

But they aren't all business.

Last year during Spirit Week leading up to the IND-Mercy basketball game at Towson University, Schlaffer and Schuck led their junior classmates in the locker room design competition against the other IND classes. They turned the locker room into a beach, complete with 150 pounds of sand.

"They will work tirelessly on something as simple as locker room design," said Hoey, who also coaches cross country. "They're so involved. They love their school and it shows constantly in all they do."

Rams girls race to title

Digital Harbor's success at the Class 1A state championships in boys track and field last spring is beginning to pay dividends for the girls cross country team.

The Rams captured the school's first cross country title with their victory at the Baltimore City championships at Herring Run Park last Wednesday. Senior Brittney Griffin paced Digital Harbor to a 28-33 score over two-time defending champion Mervo by winning the individual crown in 20 minutes, 40 seconds.

The Rams also earned top-14 efforts from junior Demia Franklin (fourth place in 21:46), sophomore Ashley McClure (seventh, 23:13), sophomore Kyairre Rooks (ninth, 23:40) and sophomore Shawnita Haley (14th, 24:43).

"I really believe we're piggybacking off of the success of the boys outdoor program," said coach Lutalo Bakari, whose team claimed the Mervo Mustang Invitational last month and went undefeated in the city dual meets. "The kids realize that if they develop a winning attitude and perform in practice, they'll reap the benefits at meets."

Gators believe now

When Seton Keough girls cross country coach Jim Lancaster reviews this season, his eyes will inevitably come to rest on the Doc Jones Anne Arundel County Invitational last month.

It was at that meet that the Gators collected the program's first title by winning the A1 Division. That success paved the way to Seton Keough's first IAAM B Conference championship last Thursday at Oregon Ridge Park, according to Lancaster.

"Before that win, we were really a team never expected to win," he said. ""But that meet proved that we were good enough to run with anyone and be competitive. We were not afraid of any teams after that."

The uplifting note for the Gators is that their top five runners at the IAAM championships -Katie Sacker, Megan McQuillan, Lindsay Wilson, Alyssa Doyle and Colleen Shea - will likely be back to defend their crown next year.

JV soccer for Doves

Next fall, Western will become the first girls soccer program in the city to field a junior varsity team.

Bob Wade, coordinator of athletics for the Baltimore City public schools, said his office has signed off on the funding request.

With 42 girls on this year's varsity team, the city champion Doves certainly could use a second team and a second coach to give newcomers more attention while learning the game.

Doves coach Sue Winemiller said having a JV is especially important because the Doves have no recreation feeder system. Many of the girls come into the program without any experience.

"This really benefits the younger ones," Winemiller said. "We had kids who never got into a game. We had 10 to 15 girls who got zero playing time and still stayed. I told them they'd get in scrimmages next year and that was even before we knew we would have a JV. I just can't believe no one quit."

The JV will also give Winemiller more time to work with her veterans, taking their skills to a higher level and potentially making the program more competitive outside the city league.

The Doves went 9-0 in the city and finished 9-3-1 overall. They are top-seeded in the Class 3A North region and have byes through to Friday's semifinal.

Sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article.

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