Navy, Maryland wrestle to move up in rankings

Area colleges

January 30, 1992|By Paul McMullen

The last time the wrestling teams from Maryland and Navy saw each other was Jan. 18, at Penn State.

After Navy was brushed aside, 34-3, by the third-ranked Nittany Lions, Midshipmen coach Reg Wicks told John McHugh, "I hope we softened them up for you." That wasn't the case, as Penn State routed the Terps, 45-0.

Maryland and Navy will wrestle each other Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, and don't think the two squads are pushovers. After beating No. 12 West Virginia 19-16, the Midshipmen could move into the top 10.

"Maryland's got a good club, too," Wicks said. "Don't judge us by Penn State. They're awesome this year."

Navy, which takes an 8-3 record into Saturday's 2 p.m. match against Lehigh, an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association rival, at Halsey Field House, is getting a solid season from Jeff Stepanic, who wrestles at 118 pounds. He went to the NCAA tournament last year, as did Mark Smith, 126, who has been slowed by a shoulder injury.

Another wounded Mid is Greg Wise, a two-time state champion for Old Mill High who placed fourth at 158 pounds in the EIWA tournament last year. He then went through a growth spurt. He has had arthroscopic surgery on both knees this season, so junior Aron Carman has taken over the 177 spot. Carman's decision averted the shutout at Penn State.

Juniors Nick Melfi (134) and James Cummings (167) are among Navy's postseason threats. Wicks is also excited with Tom Storey (190 pounds; 12-3 record) and plebe Dan Hicks (heavyweight; 11-5).

Their bouts against Maryland could be important, as the Terps finish with Kevin Brown, a junior from Poly who's 11-6-1, and Bill Ferencz, a junior from North Carroll who's 14-7-3. Navy, which has beaten Maryland five straight, is 32-6-3 in a series that began in 1950.

Brown and Maryland's Tom Miller (142), whose 17-4-1 record has him ranked No. 5 in the nation, reached the NCAA tournament last year.

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Monarchs on the move: The freshman class that entered Old Dominion in 1988 is having a fine basketball season. A very big drawback for the Monarchs (6-9) is that forward Ricardo Leonard, the leading scorer in the Colonial Athletic Association, is the only one of the four recruits still in Norfolk, Va.

Old Dominion's top reserve off the bench in 1988-89 was Southern's Terrance Jacobs, who spent the following year at Allegany Community College. He's having another superb season at Towson State and deserves consideration for East Coast Conference Player of the Year.

Chris Kerwin, who spent two seasons at ODU, is the starting center at Maryland. His freshman roommate was Dameon Ross, who spent one semester at Allegany before resurfacing at Salisbury State. He's a big reason the Sea Gulls have climbed to No. 4 in the NCAA Division III rankings.

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Record book: Andre Foreman, Ross' running mate at Salisbury State, should become the state's all-time leading scorer next weekend.

Foreman, a senior forward and first-team All-American who went to Stephen Decatur High in Berlin, has 2,625 points after scoring 24 last night in a 103-88 win over Wesley College. The state record, 2,672, was set in 1957 by Jack Sullivan of Mount St. Mary's.

Navy's David Robinson is second on the state career lists in scoring, with 2,669 points, and blocks, with 516. It's doubtful anyone will erase the record for blocks, 839 (7.4 a game) by Morgan State's Marvin Webster during 1971-75. By way of comparison, current state leader George Sereikas has the Loyola career record with 76.

Webster will be inducted into the State of Maryland Hall of Fame on Feb. 17.

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No tumble expected: The Towson State women's gymnastics team should have no difficulty claiming its fifth straight state championship Sunday at 1 p.m. in College Park against Maryland and Navy.

The Tigers, who opened the season with their second-best team score ever in a loss to Penn State, have been led by junior `D Gabby Linarducci. Her all-around total at West Virginia last weekend was 37.75, the same score she posted at last season's state meet. She shared honors then with Maryland's Kristin HTC Ragans, who is no longer with the Terps.

Nicole Lefcourt, a sophomore from Silver Spring, is Maryland's top all-around, with a best of 37.35.

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