Every year, local athletes and teams produce memories and highlights that last a lifetime. Here is a review of some of those special teams and individuals during 2015.
Twins on track
When Lansdowne High School identical twins Julia and Naomi Corns finished their final cross country race of the season at the state championship meet, they celebrated with two former teammates.
But Katherine and Josselyn Hernandez, who brought signs supporting the sisters, were not your everyday former teammates.
They're also identical twins.
Katherine now attends Temple University and Josselyn goes to Howard Community College.
Last spring, the four ran for Lansdowne on the 3,200-meter relay team that finished second in the regional meet during the 2015 outdoor track season. They qualified for the state championships, where they placed 16th.
In cross country, the Corns twins raced in the Class 3A state meet at Hereford High School, and for the second year in a row, Julia placed 24th (20:53).
Naomi was 49th in a time of 21:58.
"We do push each other," Julia said. "I used to not really think I had all that much academic potential, but then Naomi kept doing well so I wanted to kind of be up there on her level."
At the Class 3A North Region championships, Julia was 10th and Naomi was 11th.
At the Baltimore County championships at Dulaney High School, Julia was 13th (19:39) and Naomi was 25th (20:42).
The Lansdowne soccer team lost its final regular season game 3-2 to Parkville and thought its unbeaten regular season was over, but a few days later, coach George Dunn was informed the Knights had to forfeit that game because they played too many games, so the Vikings were awarded the win and an unbeaten 11-0-1 record.
The Vikings blanked Milford Mill in the regional quarterfinals, but the season ended with a 3-1 loss to Franklin in the regional semifinals.
"We had our opportunities, but the ball didn't fall our way this time," Dunn said. "It was a great season. The guys did come together and we are only losing five seniors."
Lansdowne is one of five schools in Baltimore County — the others are Woodlawn, Parkville, Dundalk and Owings Mills — that offer the ESOL program, English for Speakers of Other Languages, so Dunn's roster is dotted with foreign-born athletes who are not foreign to soccer.
Lansdowne's roster had six players each from Myanmar (Burma), five from Africa, two from El Salvador, one from Germany and five from the United States.
Junior Ling Har, from Myanmar, and senior Bryan Rios-Buruca, from El Salvador, were captains, along with locals Kyndell Overton and Jamie Quansah.
Honor for Viking backstop
After recovering from pre-season surgery, Lansdowne High sophomore catcher Austin Tucker's baseball season ended with a 9-8 loss to Eastern Tech in the Class 2A North Region championship game, but, after the season he was selected to the 2015 Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches (MSABC) Team Maryland Futures South Region roster.
He played in the game on June 29 at Prince Georges Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox, the Baltimore Orioles Double-A minor league affiliate.
Tucker made a positive impression on MSABC President Ty Whittaker, an Eastern Tech assistant coach who helps select the team, in the regional title game.
In addition to throwing out a would-be base stealer and blocking everything behind the plate in that game, Tucker nearly was the hero when his two-run single to right center field gave the Vikings an 8-6 lead in the top of the seventh.
Row, row, row your boat
When Arbutus resident Brooke Ripley arrived at St. Paul's School for Girls as a freshman in 2011, she had no idea of the direction she was headed athletically.
Having played softball and basketball in the Arbutus recreation programs, she decided to try out for the field hockey team at the all-girls private school.
She made the varsity field hockey team as a goalie that year, even though she had never played the sport before.
She thought she would play softball that spring. Then she discovered the sport of rowing.
It earned her a scholarship to the University of Tennessee.
"I still can't believe it. My freshman year I could never imagine I would be going to college to row," said Ripley, 17, whose scholarship pays more than 65 percent of her college costs each semester. "It's just amazing what can happen in four years."
Perfection for pitcher
Lansdowne freshman softball pitcher Jordyn Goodman tossed a perfect game in the rain early in the season when the Vikings blanked Western Tech, 11-0, in a five-inning game.
The game was shortened to five innings because of the 10-run rule. Goodman struck out five batters.
Her sister, Hannah, a junior, had the perfect view, catching each strike, including the last one. Hannah then gave Jordyn the game ball.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, senior second baseman Alex Bloom caught a soft liner over the pitcher's mound to preserve the perfect game.
"It was a team effort basically," Jordyn said. "If they put the ball in play, my teammates got the out for me and we just kept it going throughout the game. You've got to have faith in your teammates and we definitely did today."
In the fall, Hannah Goodman continued her athletic success, shooting 95 and tying Hereford's Alexis Schmelzer for a Baltimore County girls individual golf championship.
Stunning diamond upset
Lansdowne (13-6) softball stunned previously unbeaten Eastern Tech, 5-3, and won the Class 2A North Region championship.
The Vikings also ended a 43-game winning streak for Eastern Tech (18-1).
Lansdowne, making its sixth state tournament appearance, lost in the state semifinals to Easton.
Eastern Tech, which outscored its opponents 242-32 in its 18 victories, was held scoreless for the first three innings by Jordyn Goodman and the Viking defense was flawless in the victory.
Sprinter makes statement
In the Class 2A state outdoor track meet, Lansdowne's Ashley Blackwell was third in the 200 meters (25.93) and anchored the eighth-place 400 relay team (52.43) that included sophomores Kendra Cooper, Kayna Moore and Dionna Hall.
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Blackwell was also a 200 champion in the Class 2A North Region meet and Baltimore County championship meet and was first in the 100 at regionals and fourth in the counties.