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Digest: Capitol Heights' Gary Russell wins to earn spot on U.S. Olympic boxing team

FROM SUN STAFF AND NEWS SERVICE — Light welterweight Gary Russell of Capitol Heights qualified for the Summer Games with a unanimous quarterfinal victory at 141 pounds over Obada Alkasbeh of Jordan at the World Olympic Qualification Event in Baku, Azerbaijan. Russell's older brother Gary Russell Jr. was a 2008 U.S. Olympian. Russell will compete in the semifinal round of the Americas qualifier today.

After a late push to finish Thursday¿s competition in St. Louis, the Baltimore native is fifth out of 18 U.S. national team members.

"I've always been an Olympian but it feels good to be one step closer," Russell said. "Combinations, my jab and good defense have been the keys. You have to have a certain mindset where you are willing to change the strategy if needed and know you're going to find a way to make it work."

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Orioles

2nd-round LHP and 4th-round RHP signed

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The Orioles have reached an agreement with second-round pick Keegan Akin, a left-handed pitcher out of Western Michigan University.

The Orioles announced Thursday the signing of two of their top picks in this year's Major League Baseball draft, finalizing deals with second-round pick Keegan Akin, a left-hander out of Western Michigan, and fourth-round selection Brenan Hanifee, a right-hander from Turner Ashby High in Bridgewater, Va. Akin, who was selected with the 54th overall pick, signed for a deal that would pay him the slot bonus of $1,177,200, according to an industry source. Hanifee, who was the Orioles' first high school pick and 121st overall, signed for slightly above his bonus slot of $487,100, according to the source. Hanifee was committed to pitch at East Carolina. Akin is expected to start his pro career at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, while Hanifee will pitch in the Gulf Coast League.

— Eduardo A. Encina

Et cetera

Maryland football: The Terps are one of the early favorites to land Alabama graduate-transfer defensive back Maurice Smith, according to a report from AL.com. Miami, Georgia and Southern California also have been pursuing Smith aggressively since he received his release from the Crimson Tide last week. New Maryland defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim was on Alabama's staff in 2014 and 2015. Smith, who has four career starts, contributed on defense during his true freshman season in 2013 and was Alabama's first-team nickel back throughout the spring and during its spring game in April.

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Ravens: Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. will appear on "Celebrity Family Feud" in an episode airing at 8 p.m. on July 3. Smith will team with four other AFC offensive players (Oakland Raiders' Amari Cooper, New England Patriots' Marcus Cannon, Cincinnati Bengals' Jeremy Hill and New York Jets' Brandon Marshall) and compete against five NFC defensive players. Smith's team is participating for Active Minds, a charity that helps students to speak up about mental health. Winners can earn up to $25,000 for charity.

Mark Selig

Women's lacrosse: Seven former Maryland players were selected to try out for the 2017 U.S. national team: attacker Alex Aust, Taylor Cummings defender Megan Douty, attacker Brooke Griffin, defender Alice Mercer (Century), defender Casey Pepperman (McDonogh), midfielder Katie Schwarzmann (Century) and Cummings. Also invited are Navy rising junior attacker Jenna Collins (River Hill); Loyola Maryland rising junior attacker Frankie Kamely, rising senior defender Bailey Mathis, rising redshirt sophomore midfielder Sabrina Tabasso and rising sophomore midfielder Taylor VanThof; Towson rising senior midfielder Samantha Brookhart (Mount Hebron), graduate defender Breanna Hamm, rising senior defender Kelly McQuilkin (Atholton), rising junior midfielder Kaitlyn Montalbano, rising sophomore midfielder Natalie Sulmonte and rising junior defender Tianna Wallpher; and Johns Hopkins rising junior attacker Emily Kenul. Tryouts are Aug. 5-7 at U.S. Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks and will determine which 36 players train for the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse Women's World Cup in England from July 13-22. Ultimately, 18 players will represent the U.S.

Women's college basketball: ASA College (N.Y.) 6-foot-4 forward Mary Cuevas signed to play at Towson. Cuevas helped lead the Avengers to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament each of the past two seasons. … Former UMBC assistant Katie Rokus was named to the same position at Navy. Rokus spent the past five seasons as an assistant at Cincinnati. Rokus began her coaching career during the 2003-04 season with the Retrievers and would serve as the recruiting coordinator and lead assistant in each of her final three seasons before she departed for George Washington after the 2007-08 season. … Maryland named Lanie Deppe assistant director of performance and Sean Ehlbeck director of video.

D.C. United: Defender Bobby Boswell was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Soccer for a serious foul play that endangered the safety of an opponent. Boswell originally was issued a yellow card in the 28th minute of United's 0-0 tie at Houston on Saturday night. Boswell will miss Saturday's game against the New England Revolution.

Varsity girls track and field: Annapolis rising senior Maria Coffin was named Gatorade Maryland Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Coffin is the second Panther to win the award. Maryland's reigning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year and The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Performer of the Year, Coffin won two individual state championships at the Class 4A state meet this past season. Coffin took the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 56.93 seconds and the 3,200-meter run in 10:45.90. Her 1,600-meter time of 4:56.91 and 3,200-meter clocking of 10:36.64 at the Anne Arundel County championships both ranked as the state's fastest time among prep competitors in 2016.

Charity: Shootout for Soldiers Baltimore, a 24-hour lacrosse game that began Wednesday at St.Paul's benefiting wounded American military members, raised $112,950.

Administration: The Big Ten named Jason Yellin assistant commissioner for communications. He previously worked at Maryland. … The Big Ten named Maryland graduate Doron Tamari assistant director for branding.

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College football: Towson will have six games televised this season. They are: at Villanova on Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m. on CSN; at Richmond on Oct. 1 at 3:30 p.m. on CSN; Stony Brook on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. on CSN; New Hampshire on Oct. 22 at 3:30 p.m. on CSN; at Delaware on Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. on CSN; and William & Mary on Nov. 12 at noon on ASN. The Tigers' season opener at South Florida on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. will be broadcast on ESPN3. Towson will also host Elon on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. and travel to Rhode Island on Nov. 19 at noon.

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