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Springbrook does just enough late in the game to defeat Whitman

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Whitman Vikings vs. Springbrook Blue Devils 1 12 15 17Whitman's Joey Squeri and Springbrook's Michael Germain get tangled in the net during a contested rebound.                PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  BETHESDA — Despite a ferocious fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Walt Whitman Vikings, the Blue Devils of Springbrook High School found the last drops of fuel in their tank in the game’s final minutes to defeat Whitman, 67-59.

Friday’s match – contested by two of Montgomery County’s best squads – was decided by four big scoring runs.

The first belonged to Whitman, which began the game with ten unanswered points until after a Springbrook timeout, after which the Blue Devils rallied, and even took the lead for a few seconds before a buzzer-beating layup by Whitman’s Rodrigo Ruiz gave the Vikings a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“Defense,” Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers immediately responded when asked what changed during the timeout. “And some words I said in the huddle,” Meyers continued with a smile.

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Montgomery County’s high school wrestling preview

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Colonels’ C.J. Cramma aims for elusive state title, while Damascus goes for another team crown 

Magruder’s C.J. Cramma need no further inspiration than his past two meetings with Parkdale of Prince George’s County’s 4A-3A runner-up Axel Giron, who defeated the Colonels’ wrestler, 6-3, in last year’s 113-pound state semifinals, and, in triple-overtime at a summer wrestling camp at Landon High.

Giron lost his state title bout, 3-2, to repeat winner Brent Lorin of Harford County’s Bel Air, a junior like Giron, who has yet to lose a high school bout.

“We were tied 3-3 at states and Giron got back points,” said Cramma, who went 4-1 at states with two pins, a technical fall and a 9-5 decision to end the year with a mark of 41-6. “At Landon, we were tied 4-4 but went into triple-overtime and I lost on the ultimate ride-out.”

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WJ, Whitman take MoCo cross country titles

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DSC 8747WJ Lady Wildcats' Abbey Green aids teammate Janet Scott. Green finished first in the girls cross country championships for Montgomery County, 47 seconds ahead of Scott in second place . PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

GAITHERSBURG — The Walter Johnson High School varsity girls and the Walt Whitman varsity boys cross country teams each finished with the lowest amount of points overall, earning them the championship trophies.

The Montgomery County varsity boys and girls county 5 kilometer individual champions were not unfamiliar faces.

Two seniors – Poolesville’s Ryan Lockett (15 minutes and 32 seconds), the county’s 2016 runner-up and 3A state champion, and Walter Johnson’s Abbey Green (17:57), two-time county champion (2015, 2016) and 2016 4A state runner-up – won their respective races.

“It was close the entire race,” Lockett said.

For the girls team, Walter Johnson head coach Tom Martin said the girls work together well. This year was Walter Johnson's fourth consecutive County title.

“Our four seniors have been good – they’ve done this plenty of times, they know what they have to do, and when it comes down to this time of year, they’re a good group at figuring out what they have to do in a race, where they have to be to be successful,” Martin said.

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Whitman Vikings defeat Churchill Bulldogs, 2-1

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Whitman vs. Churchill soccer 10 7 17Churchill Bulldogs' Alok Kothari (10) and Whitman Vikings' Pablo Bayona Sapag (14) battle for the ball.   PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  BETHESDA – In a hard-fought encounter at home, the Walt Whitman Vikings defeated the Winston Churchill Bulldogs 2-1 in boys varsity soccer Saturday afternoon.

The Vikings pressed forward early and took a two-goal lead before halftime. During the second half, the Bulldogs managed to narrow the score but were unable to level the match.

“I thought the first half was brilliant, we had numerous chances, we had the run of play,” said Whitman coach Dave Greene. “We did everything we had to do, we scored two goals.”

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Prep grabs 12-0 scrimmage win over Whitman

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MPI GTPrepWhitman 066 2Whitman Vikings quarterback Elliott Kelly under pressure from Georgetown Prep's defense during football scrimmage. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  ROCKVILLE – A heavy rainstorm couldn’t keep the Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas from defeating the Whitman Vikings in their first scrimmage of the season on Friday, 12-0. 

A rainbow framed the field as both squads stomped onto the rain-soaked turf. Since the game was a scrimmage, there were no quarters, kickoffs or halftime. Coaches from both teams stood in the opposite end zones and watched intently, shouting instructions.

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Bulldogs crush Vikings in LAX playoffs 10-3

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xChurchill Bulldogs vs. Whitman Vikings LAX 2bChurchill’s Ryan Leonard (5) goes for the goal as Whitman defenders move to intercept.    PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

After a close three quarters, the Churchill Bulldogs boys varsity lacrosse team (15-1) lambasted the Whitman Vikings (11-4), 10-3 in the MPPSSA regional semifinals at Churchill Stadium on Monday evening.

Bulldogs junior attacker Ryan Leonard (3 goals) said of the win, “We always have a chip on our shoulder playing against Whitman. They’re our rivals. So, we knew we wanted to come in and win.”

Bulldogs senior goalie Alex Crombie credited the win on the Bulldogs’ team energy, saying, “We all came out just as we would in a playoff game. Against Wootton we came out with a lot of energy. Tonight was no different. It mostly started on the defensive end. We brought a lot of energy. Although our offense had a slow start. I thought the energy resonated. They picked up as the game went on. They feed off it. A lot of our success came off the energy we had.”

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Walter Johnson Wildcats dominate gymnastics meet

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xWJ Gymnastics-1000Lily Smith of Walter Johnson High School competes in the floor exercise event. She placed first overall in the meet. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

BETHESDA-The Walter Johnson Wildcats’ gymnastics team dominated their meet against the Whitman Vikings and the B-CC Barons, scoring a combined 166 points.

The Vikings trailed in second with 149.8 and the Barons came in third with 146.05.

Before the meet, the Wildcats placed first in their three previous meets; now that number is notched up to four. The Vikings get their first second-place finish and the Barons get their first time at third place.

It was a strong showing from the Wildcats, as they had at least three gymnasts in the top six for the vault, bars, beam and floor events.

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Whitman girls fall short against Catonsville 49-46

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Whitman v. CatonsvilleWhitman guard Abby Meyers drives the lane through Catonsville defenders reaching for a rebound. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  

TOWSON – Whitman guard Abby Meyers shouted encouragements at her teammates from the bench as precious seconds ticked away in the 4A West state championship game against Catonsville in the SECU Arena at Towson University.

Meyers had uncharacteristically fouled out of the game with under two minutes to go and was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Vikings tried to rally from a four-point deficit and claim their second state title in a row.

It wasn’t meant to be, however. Whitman senior guard Olivia Meyers’ last-second three-point attempt bounced off the backboard and Catonsville held on to win, 49-46.

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Whitman’s cheerleading coach believes in family values

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What makes a coach special?

Alexa Ciesinski, second-year head coach of the back-to-back Division Three champion Whitman Vikings Poms, believes it is not so much about winning or losing but seeing her team being “inspired” and “growing.”

Kristi McAleese, the equally successful two-time champion Whitman Vikings Cheerleading head coach, believes instilling a “family atmosphere” and “fostering friendship” among teammates are the keys to a successful program.

As for Ciesinski's Poms squad, the journey over the past two years has been gratifying.

“I really love seeing other people grow and learn”, says Ciesinski.

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