Severna Park's Hobbs takes crown in girls singles


COLLEGE PARK -- Her prom was the night before. Her ankle injury was in the second game.

But given ice and a 15-minute recovery period, top-seeded Katherine Hobbs of Severna Park won the state girls singles tennis championship by defeating Susan Clarzy of Oakland Mills in straight sets yesterday.

Hobbs, a senior, has been a mainstay of Severna Park's 67-match win streak (the Falcons last lost in 1987). But her 6-1, 6-4 win earned the school its first state title since the girls doubles team of Kendall Miller and Jennifer Schneck won in 1988.

It came after Hobbs fell while leading both the second set, 3-2, and the sixth game, 35-0. "But given a basket weave and the full recovery time, Katherine was able to go back out there and pick it up," said state chairman Edwin Dick of Patapsco.

Also claiming a state championship was the Old Mill boys doubles team of Phil White and Brent Layman. They rallied to defeat Todd Umikel and Yong Park of Thomas Wootton, 0-6, 6-1, 6-4, to help District 5 (Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties) reach the team title by edging District 8 (Eastern Shore), 26-20.

Old Mill's Layman also was the county, regional and state wrestling champion at 135 pounds. He placed seventh at the national wrestling championships and is a high school All-America wrestler.

The boys singles title went to Neil Maurer of Parkside in Salisbury. He defeated Troy Applewhite of Montgomery-Blair, 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (6-1).

Cambridge-South Dorchester's top-seeded girls doubles team of Heidi McWilliams and Abby Messick -- the defending state champions -- defeated Lori Rupard and Jamie Dietz of Thomas Stone, 6-1, 6-0.

However, the boys No. 2-seeded doubles team of Gary Cooke and Jimmy Edwards (McDonough, Calvert County) upset the No. 1 tandem of Cambridge-South Dorchester's Brian Roche and Devon Leap, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

South Carroll's mixed doubles team of Sam Thepuong and Kristen Medvetz fell to Walt Whitman's Herman Swart and Liz Henkin, 6-3, 6-2, in their final.

In the consolation rounds, Eddie Dayton and Tricia Bennett of Cambridge-South Dorchester fell to Darren Goode and Sassy Salmons of Eleanor Roosevelt, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. Freshmen Becky Knouse and Melissa Esposito of Centennial lost to Valee Baker ** and Shannon Conaway of South Carroll, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Old Mill was the last team to defeat Severna Park. The Patriots won at home, 7-2, on May 7, 1987. They finished second in this year's Anne Arundel County regular-season race as Severna Park won its fifth straight championship.

Old Mill was then second by 33-32 in a county tournament that saw the Falcons win for the fourth consecutive year.

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