Spring sports don't focus much attention on the water around Baltimore, but five local schools are out to change that in perhaps the smallest but fastest growing local high school sport -- crew.
While their numbers are still small compared with sports such as lacrosse and track and field, Bryn Mawr, Roland Park, the Institute of Notre Dame, St. Paul's and St. Paul's School for Girls have doubled or tripled the number of boats they had just two years ago.
"In the next few years, I think you're really going to see this sport take off," said IND coach and athletic director Mike McEwan. "When we added our team [in the fall of 1999], there were three schools, and they had three boats they rented."
Now, most teams own two or three boats, fielding teams in varsity, JV and novice categories.
Earlier this month, Bryn Mawr won the varsity girls crown at the Baltimore Independent School Rowing Championships with its crew of Jen Nelson, Jessica Sinclair, Emily deJuan, Katie Baylin, Colleen Ferrand-Andrew, Andrea Noravian, Bess Novey, Lauren Aglubat and coxswain Emily Woodward.
Roland Park -- Carly Kahoe, Airlia Esworthy, Emily Dierkes, Olivia Stringer, Libby Cole, Kris Pompa, Carrie Schenning, Morgan Katz and coxswain Ashley Conklin -- finished second.
However, the Reds came back and beat the Mawrtians in this past weekend's season finale, a regatta won by host St. Andrew's in Delaware.
Defending champion IND came in third in the Baltimore finals with Lindsay Stallings, Natalie Schuck, Stephanie Krause, Mary Kate Flannagan, Tera Gebhardt, Christina Meyer, Shellie Bronis, Erin Bounds and coxswain Jessica Thanner. St. Paul's girls were fifth.
At St. Paul's boys school, the Crusaders are in their first season as a varsity sport and are the only local boys team competing. The Crusaders raced three times in their inaugural season -- in Philadelphia, Washington and at St. Andrew's.
Carver's Ebony Scott capped an unbeaten high school badminton career by winning her second straight Baltimore City No. 1 singles title last week.
The senior went 47-0 in her four-year career, playing doubles for two years before going 22-0 in two years as the city's top singles player.
"I don't think this has ever been done before," said Carver coach Linda Hollis. "In my career coaching badminton -- and I've been doing this for 20 years -- I don't know of any child who has gone undefeated in her career."
Scott also led the Bears to their fourth straight team title.
4 x city champ
Western's Mariama Gondo could not have enjoyed a much better day at Saturday's Baltimore City Track and Field Championships.
The junior sprinter won four gold medals and set a meet record of 24.5 seconds in the 200 meters to help the Doves win the team title.
Gondo also picked up a win in the 400, finishing in 59 seconds flat. In addition, she anchored the victorious 400- and 1,600-relay teams.
Dundalk's Christie Trionfo completed her high school career as one of the most prolific scorers in local girls lacrosse history. The senior amassed 216 goals and 98 assists as the Owls' 10-6 season came to an end in the Class 3A-2A South Regional semifinal.
The senior, headed to Division I Duquesne on scholarship, scored 69 goals and had 29 assists this season alone. She likely would have hit 100 assists had she not dislocated an elbow early in Saturday's victory over Poly. The injury forced her to sit out Monday's 18-8 loss to Eastern Tech.
"She could have easily scored 300 goals," said Owls coach Danielle Grzebien, "but she wanted to pass the ball. That's a true testament to what kind of player she really is."