Midway through his freshman year, River Hill cross-country runner Michael Styczynski suffered severe shin splints and almost quit the team. Yesterday afternoon, Styczynski captured the Maryland 3A title and led the four-year old Clarksville school to its second straight title at the Maryland cross-country championships at Hereford High School in Parkton.

Styczynski set a 3A meet record by running the three-mile course in 16 minutes 22.47 seconds. River Hill defeated two-time defending champion South Carroll of Carroll County, 64-76. In the boys Class 4A race, Gaithersburg junior Marcus Hershberger also placed first in a time of 16:28.94.

In the girls events, Walter Johnson of Bethesda won its fourth straight Class 3A title, 63-89 over North Carroll.

-- Greg Brice

More Cross-Country Honors

South Lakes All-Met junior Alan Webb and Lake Braddock All-Met senior Erin Swain continue to add to their list of accomplishments this fall.

Webb set a new state meet course record en route to capturing his second straight Virginia AAA cross-country title in 15:08.70 at the Virginia state cross-country championships at Great Meadow in The Plains. The championships have been run at this course the past six years.

In the girls event, Swain won her first state cross-country title, winning the Group AAA title by over 31 seconds (18:07.50). Her time broke former Centreville All-Met Laura Heiner's state course mark of 18:18 for the course.

-- Bryan Tucker

Loudoun County Takes Title

Junior Stacy James and sophomore Katie Baldwin scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, to lead Loudoun County to a 49-39 victory over Loudoun Valley in the Virginia AA Northwestern District basketball tournament championship at Potomac Falls in Sterling. For the second straight year, the Leesburg school has won both the regular season title and tournament championship.

Soccer Semifinals

The top-seeded Potomac School girls soccer team defeated visiting Holton-Arms, 5-1, and Sidwell Friends needed penalty kicks to eliminate host National Cathedral, 1-1 (4-3), in the Independent School League AA tournament semifinals.

Sidwell sophomore goalkeeper Alex Oster saved two kicks in the tiebreaker to help the Northwest Washington school (9-1-3) advance to today's final at Madeira. . . .

Senior midfielder Mandy Komar scored in the eighth minute to give Westminster's girls soccer team a 1-0 victory over No. 6 Wootton of Rockville in a Maryland 4A semifinal last night at Roberts Field in Severna Park. Westminster (13-2-1), which also defeated No. 1 Severna Park in a penalty kick shootout last Friday, will play Parkville of Baltimore County in the final. Parkville defeated Bowie, 2-0, to advance.

Field Hockey Titles

Top-ranked Bethesda-Chevy Chase defeated Mount Hebron, 2-1, to capture its sixth straight Maryland 2A field hockey championship at Goucher College in Towson. The state championship was the eighth of the decade for the Bethesda school, which finished this season 18-1.

In the Class 4A championship, Severna Park defeated Whitman, 2-1, to claim its seventh championship of the decade.

No. 10 Long Reach made its first title appearance, but came up short as defending champion Fallston of Harford County scored a 1-0 victory in the 3A championship.

Severna Park (18-2) took a an 1-0 lead against Whitman (14-5) when Erin Shaklee tipped in a Kelli Bowerman shot in the first half. Shaklee made it 2-0 by scoring on a penalty stroke with 22:16 remaining after a Whitman player was called for a stroke foul.

-- Jeff Seidel

Blair Rolls in Volleyball

Blair, which suffered two regular season losses to Whitman, redeemed itself last Friday with a 15-9, 16-14, 15-3, victory against the fourth-ranked Bethesda school in a Maryland 4A West Region final. Blair (15-2) advanced to the semifinal where it will play Severna Park on Tuesday at the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville campus, at 6 o'clock.

Blair also defeated No. 3 Watkins Mill in a five-game regional semifinal match on Wednesday. . . .

Tenth-ranked Maret of Northwest Washington rallied from an 8-1 second game deficit to defeat Model, 15-7, 15-13, 15-13, and capture the Independent School League championship at Stone Ridge in Bethesda.

Maret, which also won the ISL regular season title, did not loose a game in any match during the tournament. The Frogs finished the season 17-0.

-- Josh Leventhal