Phelps' comeback gains speed with 100 butterfly win
The comeback of Baltimore's continued in impressive fashion Friday at the Bulldog Grand Slam in Athens, Ga., as the most decorated Olympian of all time beat rival Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly and recorded the second-fastest time of the year. Phelps finished in 51.67 seconds, his first swim under 52 seconds this year. It was just his fourth meet after a 20-month retirement. "I wanted to get under 52," Phelps told reporters. "I was sick and tired of seeing 52.1." He easily beat his times in the event from his previous three meets but still has work to do to match his 51.21 winning time from the 2012 London Games. Only Russian Vyacheslarus Prudnikov (51.60) has been faster this year. Lochte was second in 53.08, with North Carolina's Matthew Josa third in 53.64. "In the grand scheme of things, I think it's just a small steppingstone to go where we hope to be," Phelps said. "I always set high expectations for myself, no matter what I'm doing. [Coach] Bob [Bowman] and I have a plan of what I want to do. He knows what it's going to take to get there." Lochte won the only other meeting between him and Phelps this year, but he is on his own comeback trail after aggravating a knee injury in April. The meet continues today with Phelps scheduled to swim the 100-meter backstroke as he prepares for the Aug. 6-10 U.S. Championships in Irvine, Calif., ahead of the Pan Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast in Australia.
18 years later, a new anthem singer needed
The Ravens are searching for a new voice to sing the national anthem at home games. After 18 years of singing at Ravens games — assuming the role when the franchise first moved to Baltimore — Mishael Miller made his final appearance at M&T Bank Stadium last season before leaving to become a church pastor in Birmingham, Ala. Having narrowed the list to 10 finalists after initial rounds of auditions, the Ravens are holding their final auditions for a new game-day national anthem singer Tuesday morning at M&T Bank Stadium. The top candidates will sing the national anthem in front of a panel of Ravens front office executives and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra personnel to determine who will replace Miller.
Terps going after Stone, country's top 2015 center
The nation's consensus No. 1 center, 6-foot-10 rising senior Diamond Stone, is participating at the Reebok Breakout Classic this week and played in front of three 2014 Final Four coaches Wednesday night: Wisconsin's Bo Ryan, Kentucky's John Calipari and Connecticut's Kevin Ollie. But one coach who caught Stone's eye Thursday was Maryland's Mark Turgeon, who Stone said "gave [him] a little wave" during that night's game. The point man in Stone's recruitment has been Maryland assistant coach Bino Ranson. "Coach Bino, I love him to death," Stone said. Stone plans to take some visits in late summer, when he's expected to cut his list down to about 10 schools before committing in November. While Stone likes the idea of Maryland's Under Armour ties, the school's biggest pitch to the Wisconsin native is about a former player, Alex Len. "He turned into a real good big. They're comparing me to him," Stone said. "They're saying that they're going to form everything they did with Alex Len to me."
Coaching news: Coppin State hired Doug Lewis as an assistant. Lewis was previously director of player and community development at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Rabil leads U.S. to 10-7 win over Canada in FIL opener
Team USA opened the FIL World Championships in Denver with a 10-7 win over archrival Canada on Thursday night in Commerce City, Colo. Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins) led the United States with two goals and two assists, while Rob Pannell and Kevin Buchanan (Calvert Hall) added two goals apiece for the Americans, the 2010 champions. Geoff Snider Zack Greer Team USA's defense, anchored by goalie Jesse Schwartzman (Pikesville, Johns Hopkins), clamped down and never let Canada seriously threaten after it came within 9-5.
More FIL: Stevenson defenseman Callum Robinson, a rising junior, made his FIL debut Friday night for Australia, scoring a fourth-quarter goal in a 14-13, double-overtime win over Japan.
National Lacrosse League: The owners of the Philadelphia Wings, one of nine teams in the indoor National Lacrosse League, plan to move the franchise for the 2015 season. The organization is taking part in discussions with a new strategic partner for relocation, pending NLL Board of Governors approval. The Wings have several ties to the Baltimore area: Defender John Ranagan was an All-America midfielder at Johns Hopkins, where he was a teammate of defender Mike Poppleton, a Wings practice squad player. Rabil had 17 goals and 21 assists for the Wings in 2013 but decided not to play this season; he had surgery in September on torn hip muscles, and it seemed likely he skipped the NLL season to prepare for this month's FIL World Championships.
Calvert Hall to honor coach Amatucci with court name
Calvert Hall has announced plans to name the school's basketball court in honor of former coach and 1970 alumnus Mark Amatucci. In addition, the school also will establish a Mark Amatucci Scholarship for tuition assistance. Amatucci, now a guidance counselor at the school, coached for 19 seasons at Calvert Hall, amassing 117 wins from 1977 to 1982 and 272 wins from 1993 to 2007. He guided the Cardinals to three Baltimore Catholic League regular-season titles and three tournament championships, and also two Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association crowns. In the 1981-82 season, the Cardinals finished 34-0 and were named national champions by USA Today. The dedication of the court at Alumni Memorial Gym will take place Dec. 21 before Calvert Hall plays Loyola.
World TeamTennis: Martina Hingis and the Washington Kastles kept rolling Thursday night, routing the Philadelphia Freedoms, 25-10, to win their fourth match in as many nights and 16th straight overall.
Women's college basketball: Loyola Maryland named Sarah Jones and Katie Kuester as assistant coaches.
College wrestling: Rob Eiter, a former U.S. Olympian and University of Pennsylvania coach, joined Maryland as an assistant coach.