Long Reach senior All-Met Tiffani Long finished 25th in the long jump with a mark of 15 feet 11 inches at the National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Indianapolis in late July, a letdown for her after earning All-America status at two earlier meets.

Long was sixth (19 feet) at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Carson, Calif., in June and jumped a personal best (19 feet 41/4 inches) to place second at the Nike National Championships in Greensboro, N.C., later that month.

"I just had a bad day in Indianapolis," said Long, who won the 3A state title last spring. "I don't know what it was, but my timing and my steps were just off. I had been doing great before that meet, so maybe I just need to take a break and let my body rest."

Long will not jump again until the indoor track season and plans to spend this fall training, but not competing with, the cross-country team. She will also dedicate much of the fall to picking a college, with visits planned to Penn State, Maryland, Miami, South Carolina and Columbia.

Taweel Leaves His Mark

The Maryland All-State, a wrestling team composed mainly of Howard County wrestlers, went 3-2 at the New Jersey Summer Duals Tournament of Champions II in Homdel, N.J., last weekend.

Hammond junior Vince Taweel finished 4-0 in the 140-pound class to lead the team in a tournament that featured several top club teams from New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and New York.

Two Hammond wrestlers -- Ryan McKevitt at 152 pounds and Bryce Harley at 119 pounds -- and Atholton 160-pounder Brad Coe also posted winning records. The Maryland squad defeated Toms River East, Bayshore and Cinniminson but lost to Team Olympic and Central Jersey All-Stars.

"Anytime you get the chance to wrestle against good competition in the summer it's big because there are not a lot of tournaments out there," said Taweel, who went 41-1 and won the 2A/1A title at 130 pounds last winter. "This was a pretty tough tournament."

Tough Competition for Stinnett

Glenelg's Chris Stinnett lost four of six matches at the USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D., but said the experience should help him prepare for next year.

"It was the hardest tournament I have ever wrestled in, but I won some matches and I now know what it takes to win there," said Stinnett, a sophomore who competed in the 125-pound Cadet class of 15- and 16-year-olds. "I felt I could have done better, so I really want to come back next year."

Seniors Robbie Eloshway (Atholton), Taylor Green (River Hill) and Brian Parent (Oakland Mills) also competed in the tournament, but none placed in the top eight to claim all-America status.

"I lost a few close matches, but every match I had was against someone who was really good, since this is a national tournament," said Eloshway, who competed at 98 pounds against wrestlers at least 17 years old. "It was a good experience for me. I need to work on my defense for next year, but I'm probably going to come back."

Rapids Reach Semifinals

The Bethesda Rapids, an under-15 girls' soccer team that includes six players who also play for Howard County high schools, lost in the semifinals of the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Region I tournament in Virginia Beach, last month.

The team, which includes Centennial's Elsa Wu, River Hill's Erika Theisen, Atholton's Kate Nicholson and Joceyln Papciak, and Reservoir's Sarah Dwyer and Chelsea Sprague, qualified for the event by winning the Maryland State Cup in June. The Rapids won their pool with a mark of 3-0, defeating state champions from Virginia, Maine and New Hampshire by a combined score of 10-1. They then lost 3-1 in penalty kicks to a team from New Jersey after playing to a scoreless draw in regulation and overtime.

"We played hard the whole game and kept battling and battling, and then we got to penalty kicks and we just had bad karma," Nicholson said. "It's tough to lose like that, but that's soccer."