A number of local athletes from the Top Flight Gymnastics Club of Columbia qualified for national-level competition with strong showings at the USAIGC Qualifier this past weekend.
In the Level 10 Open Optional, Gina Califano qualified with a 34.125 in the all-around.
In the Level 9 Intermediate Optionals, all team members qualified. They are Rebecca Berkowitz (32.55), Lindsay Boyer (33.1), Kierney Hiteshew (36.05) and Maura Markowitz (34.75).
Hiteshew also placed first in her section, with Markowitz taking fourth. There were 450 girls competing at the meet.
Five local teams captured first-place trophies this past weekend in the 19th annual Columbia Invitational Tournament at the Fort Meade Parade Grounds.
The under-9 Columbia Earthquakes, under-11 Columbia Strikers, under-12 Columbia Chelsea, under-16 Columbia Darby and under-23 Columbia Graduates all raced to victories in the boys competition, outlasting top teams from all over Maryland and the East Coast.
The local teams flexed their muscles in the finals, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 13-4.
The Earthquakes scored a 1-0 victory over the Bowie Strikers to win their crown, as Marco Filipponi scored the game's only goal early in the second half.
The Strikers also came up big, as Ian Rodway scored two goals and Brent Tyson added another to pace their team to a 3-1 win over the Soccer Club of Baltimore.
In under-12 action, the Chelsea scored a 4-1 win over the Baltimore FC 1982, and in the under-23 final, Sean Wray scored )) in the ninth round of penalty kicks to give the Graduates a 3-2 shootout win over Mequon United of Wisconsin.
But of all the local winners, the most dominant was the Columbia Darby. The Darby breezed through under-16 competition without surrendering a goal and rolled to a 2-0 win over Mequon (Wisc.) in Monday's final.
Daniel Stoutenborough scored off a corner kick from Robert Landolt early in the second half to give the Darby a 1-0 lead, and Mike Bagrosky added another goal later in the half off a pass from Brian West.
Aside from the winners, however, a number of other local teams in the 248-team field had strong showings.
* Under-10 girls -- The Columbia Dynamo won two games, shutting out the Mount Carmel Eagles and the Bethesda Dragons before falling to the Bethesda Fury in the semifinals.
The team began the tournament on a winning note, beating Mount Carmel, 5-0, on goals by Melissa Workman (two), Kelly Thomas, Susan Bartholomew and Carolyn Schmid, with Samantha Test getting an assist. Tori Parris and Kara Shapiro led the defense.
The Dynamo then dropped a 6-0 decision to the New Jersey Greentree Shockwaves, as Caitlin Jenkins got off the only shot on goal.
Workman helped the Columbia team turn things around in the next game, scoring a hat trick to lead the Dynamo to a 3-0 win over the Bethesda Dragons. Ashley Pollock also played well.
In the semifinals, however, the Dynamo lost to the Bethesda Fury, 3-0, despite the aggressive defensive play of Schmid, Kimi Mongello and Emily Williams.
* Under-15 1/2 girls -- The Columbia Cougars won one, lost one and tied one.
After a 2-1 loss to the Boston Bolts to open the tournament -- in which Carolyn Flowers scored the team's only goal off a cross from Emily Bielefeld -- the Cougars came back to beat the SSC Oasis, 3-1, on goals by Christa Dombrowsky, Bielefeld and Natalie Hoover.
The Columbia team then closed out the tournament with a 2-2 tie with the Reading Bears. Hoover scored on a cross by Custer, and Custer scored unassisted.
The Cougars got strong play in goal throughout the tournament from Kate Macfarlane and Laura Fawley, and strong defense from Monica Dodd and Sara Bartholomew.
* Under-13 girls -- The Columbia Cannonades moved in neutral throughout much of the tournament, tying their first two games before finishing with a win.
The team opened with a 3-3 tie against the Spirit of Massachusetts. The Cannonade took a 2-0 lead on goals by Brooke Barcheski and Casey Finnegan before the Spirit came back to take a 3-2 lead.
Monica Serianni scored the tying goal late in the game off a throw-in by Stacie Tokasz.
The Cannonades then played to a 1-1 tie in the second game against the New Canaan (Conn.) Creation. Katie Madden scored the lone goal off a pass from Finnegan.
In the final game of the tournament, Finnegan and Barcheski scored goals to help their team to a 2-1 win over the Charles River (Mass.) Cheetah.
Other offensive standouts over the weekend were Michelle Jenkins, Lindsey Mitchell, Megan Moulding, Katie Manweller and Alexia Vogler, while Kelley Schneider, Michelle Veach and Edna Dash starred on the defensive end.
* Under-16 girls -- The Columbia Courage saw a little of everything over the Memorial Day weekend, going 1-1-1 for the ** tournament.
Julie Hastings scored the only goal in a 1-1 tie with the Lenape Valley Wild Bees in the opener, tapping in a corner kick by Samm Oehl.
The Courage then won their second game, defeating the Fleetwood Hot Shots, 1-0, on a goal by Christina Eberhart with an assist to Stephanie Wu.
That put the Columbia team in the semifinals, but that's also where its run would end.
Against the Hampden Goalbusters, Hastings scored Columbia's only goal off a direct kick by Brooke James in a 2-1 loss.
* 10-12 -- It was a week of offense in the Atholton Youth Recreation Association National League, as every game last week saw at least one team score in double digits.
Andrew Glikin led the Rockies' offense with two hits.
Danny Fritz, Paul Klink and Jeff Ebaugh paced the Cardinals to a 10-8 win over the Giants. Bill Sutton pitched well in defeat and Thomas Singh chipped in with good defense.
Morgan Epperly's hitting and Brad Barrow's powerful pitching then helped the Cardinals to an 11-2 win over the Giants. Mike Carroll and Mike Puttle led the Giants at the plate.
The Columbia Grocery and Deli Orioles and the Huntington Learning Center Blue Jays played to a 10-10 tie.
Joe Rutan had an RBI triple and Jeff Carter was 2-for-3 for the Orioles, while Jason Barber, Adam Roth and Chris Grier each singled and scored a run for the Blue Jays.
The Silverstone Chiropractic Yankees -- led on offense by Seth Williams and J.P. Held -- scored a 19-7 win over the Athletics.
Brian Atkins and Eric Johnson hit well for the A's.
Chris Johnson pitched well and helped his own cause with three doubles as the Marlins topped the Phillies, 15-10. Steven Waddy also helped the Marlins' cause with good defense in center field.
Note: To submit information for the Howard County recreation roundup, call (410) 521-0505.