Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Goucher College will celebrate with a recreational basketball game at 6 p.m., followed by a brief history of women in athletics by Maggie Faulkner, a sports psychologist at Towson State, and an 8 p.m. game against Catholic.
Accordingly, this space is devoted to women collegians.
There was a time not so long ago when Morgan State track and field had one of the nation's top sprint crews. The Bears are headed back in that direction, thanks to Andrea Thomas, a junior transfer from San Jacinto College in Texas who was on the Jamaican Olympic team in 1984 and '88.
Thomas, 23, claims bests of 51.2 seconds and 2:01 in the 400 and 800 meters, respectively. She's favored in the 200 and 400 at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships, which will be held tomorrow and Saturday at Swarthmore (Pa.) College.
When Morgan State set a Princeton Relays record in the sprint medley, Thomas ran the opening 400 leg and the 800 anchor was provided by Lisa Shands. A senior from Poly who had a perfect 4.0 grade-point average last semester, Shands will be a factor in the 800 and 1,500 at the MEAC meet, where the Bears will attempt to win their first title since 1989.
Coppin State sophomore Diana Pitts will be chasing Thomas in the MEAC sprints.
Notable addition: Frostburg State went to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament last year, but the Bobcats were 3-4 at semester break this season. Things have gone somewhat smoother since the addition of Ronnie Harper. Frostburg State was seeking its ninth straight victory last night at Waynesboro.
Harper, a 6-foot junior post player who graduated from Towson Catholic, transferred to Frostburg State from Catonsville Community College. She's averaging 8.6 points on 46.1 percent shooting, and pulling down 6.8 rebounds per game for the Bobcats, who are host Sunday (2 p.m.) to rival Salisbury State.
In another Division III game of interest Saturday (6 p.m.), Johns Hopkins is home against Western Maryland.
The Blue Jays have lost just once in the Middle Atlantic Conference Southwest Section, where they share first place with Franklin & Marshall. Sylke Knuppel continues to shine for Hopkins. The junior wing from Glenelg is on pace to better the single-season scoring record established last year by Julianne Rolapp.
Retriever Reversal: Last season finished on a sour note for UMBC, which finished second in the East Coast Conference regular-season standings only to be upset in the first round of the postseason tournament.
The Retrievers' troubles continued at the start of the 1991-92 season with eight straight losses, but UMBC has since gone 7-4 and can claim its fifth win in six tries tonight (5:15) against Central Connecticut. Karyn Swann, a senior guard from Wilde Lake who was the ECC Defensive Player of the Year in 1990-91, has been a calming influence since spending more time at the point.
Angel Webb, a senior forward from Woodlawn who has career totals of 1,246 points and 832 rebounds, is challenging for the NCAA Division I rebounding crown. Her 14.15 average ranks second in the nation to Christie Greis of Evansville (14.17). UMBC's Anne Wellington, a senior center from Teaneck, N.J., is 10th in the nation at 11.4 rebounds per game.
And the winner is: There's still a month to go in the season and Loyola could finish in the cellar for the third straight season, but Patty Stoffey appears to be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
A freshman forward from Pottsville, Pa., Stoffey is the MAAC Rookie of the Week for the sixth time this season. She leads the Greyhounds in scoring with a 15.6 average; in rebounds (8.5) and blocked shots (1.5). She's made 44.6 percent of her field-goal attempts, and is also averaging 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks.
Rookie terror: Buffy Burke, a freshman from La Plata who prepped at St. Mary's-Ryken, is another rookie who has established herself quickly: She already has set six swimming records at Western Maryland.
Burke has Green Terrors records in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 freestyle, and also has bettered the old mark in the 200 individual medley. She's close to qualifying for the NCAA Division III championships in both the 100 and 200 freestyle.
Soccer hirings: Mount St. Mary's has named softball coach Regina Gebhart to get the Mountaineers' soccer program going. Loyola and Towson State also will be fielding varsity teams for the first time in 1992, and all three are in the process of hiring coaches.