I would hate to be the one who has to dust off all of the awards and medals that paralympian Tatyana McFadden has won both nationally and internationally over the past few years. The Clarksville native, who made headlines on the track while at Atholton High School before graduating in 2008, hasn't slowed down at all since moving on to college at the University of Illinois.

Tatyana is an example of the rewards of hard work and determination. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, with spina bifida and abandoned in an orphanage, she has overcome all obstacles to become a world-renowned athlete.

Just this past month, Tatyana was named Athlete of the Month by the United States Olympic Committee for her efforts at the World Cup and the Swiss Series of Wheelchair Racing. She ended up going undefeated in nine races, set an American record in the 100-meter race and led an American sweep in the 400-meter World Cup event.

Tatyana is now gearing up for this year's Paralympics, which are scheduled for Aug. 29 to Sept. 9 in London. Before that, though, she will be headed to Indianapolis for the U.S. Paralympics track and field trials at the end of this month.


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She certainly will have history on her side when she takes to the track for this year's Games. Back in 2004, at the Paralympics in Athens, Tatyana took silver and bronze in the 100- and 200-meter races, respectively. Then, four years later in the Paralympics in Beijing, she captured three silver medals (200, 400 and 800) and a bronze (4x100-meter relay).

Lissner represents First Tee

Cody Lissner, a 17-year-old student at Mount St. Joseph, will be getting quite the experience this summer when he heads out to California for the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach July 6-8. Selected by a national panel out of more than 180 applicants, Cody will get the chance to compete in the nationally televised event alongside a Champions Tour professional.

Cody is a member of the First Tee of Howard County and has been an active member for eight years. He is one of 81 juniors, between the ages of 16-18 nationwide, who were asked to participate in this year's tournament, which will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course.

Last year, Atholton High School's Bryana Nguyen was selected to represent the Howard County First Tee program and was paired up with the Champions Tour's Fred Funk.

Bring the sunscreen

If you like watching girls softball, grab your lawn chair and head to Rockburn, Cedar Lane, Centennial or Meadowbrook Park this weekend to catch some of the USSSA girls fastpitch softball state tournament. There are 169 teams divided into three divisions — A (34 teams), B (49 teams) and C (86 teams). In all, they will be playing 322 games. Among the local teams involved are the WHC Fever and the Maryland Chill.

The action gets under way at Rockburn Friday night with eight games. The WHC Fever '98 has the top seed in the 14B division and plays its first game Friday at 6:50 p.m.

Saturday's tournament games start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 7 p.m. at all of the Howard County sites.

The finals are Sunday at 2 p.m. at Rockburn, with an "if necessary" game following.

The C Division has its championship games Sunday at 3:40 at Centennial, Cedar Lane and Meadowbrook.