Atholton senior Lindsay Grigoriev has a chance to join some elite track and field company.
Grigoriev is aiming at her third straight Class 2A state championship in the discus. If she succeeds, Grigoriev will join a list of athletes with three consecutive state crowns that includes Dulaney's Amanda White and Tenke Zoltani(both at 3,200 meters) and Long Reach's Teyarnte Carter (400).
"I don't want to think about it too much," Grigoriev said. "I've just tried to train so that I could get here. That makes me happy."
Grigoriev - who will continue her track and field career at Kansas State - averaged 80 feet in her first discus season, when she was a freshman, but now throws more than 150 feet; she topped 165 last summer.
She credits her success in the event to participation in the hurdles and shot put. She said running the hurdles has helped her develop strength and quickness in her legs, and tossing the shot has added a more pronounced "snap" on her discus tosses.
"The discus requires a lot of technique. The shot put requires technique, as well, but you also need a lot of strength," Grigoriev said. "With the discus, it's more technique than strength, and I think I have the technique in the discus better than the shot put."
While it's known that Wilde Lake senior midfielder Lynlea Cronin has committed to play women's lacrosse at James Madison, it's not common knowledge that Cronin had another option.
Among offers from Duke, Penn State and Drexel to play lacrosse was an invitation to play soccer at Louisville.
The Cardinals went 5-12-1 last season but have improved their mark from the previous campaign for four straight years under coach Karen Ferguson.
It was an interesting offer, but Cronin decided to stay closer to home. Plus, James Madison is ranked 10th in the country, favored to collect its fourth Colonial Athletic Association title since 1997, and on pace to return to the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in nine years.
Still, Cronin - an All-Howard County first-team soccer forward who had 14 goals and four assists last fall - acknowledged that giving up soccer was hard.
"I've played soccer my whole life," said Cronin, who leads Wilde Lake in scoring with six goals and an assist. "But I just wanted to play lacrosse. ... I really liked [James Madison]. I had a good feeling when I went down there."
Scorps ready to end streak
Oakland Mills has not won a baseball game in more than two years, but several county coaches believe the streak will end this season.
The Scorpions, 0-21 last season, return senior left-hander Danny Oleynik, who throws in the low 80s and is one of the county's better pitchers despite last spring's 0-7 record.
Oleynik, who batted .429 last season, catcher Phil Grove and right fielder Mike Surendra give coach Rick Ewart some batting, too.
"It sounds strange to say, after we beat them 10-0 in five innings Tuesday, but I was impressed with the way Oakland Mills swung the bat," said Atholton coach Kevin Kelly. "They are much improved and will beat some people. Their JV beat ours, 2-1, and that hasn't happened in a while."
Ewart said his team is a little behind on hitting because construction prevented the team from using an indoor batting cage.
"But we'll come around," he said. "Oleynik, Grove and Surendra have all shown good leadership by getting our players into the weight room and playing summer ball."
Marrie makes first start
River Hill's Kevin Marrie will be under a microscope this season as pro baseball scouts follow his every move.
The 6-foot-5, 212-pound senior right-hander is a hard thrower who has signed with Coastal Carolina, but he could get drafted by the pros.
In his first start, against Howard on Monday, he threw 75 pitches in four innings, struck out seven, walked two and allowed three hits and two earned runs in his team's 7-4 win.
"There were three pro scouts clocking him, and they had him consistently between 85 and 88 mph and as high as 92," said Hawks coach Rick Lloyd.