SWARTHMORE, Pa. -- Simon Bowen and Lisa Shands, all-around athletes who missed the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference indoor track-and-field championships last year with injuries, were back yesterday to help Morgan State regain its customary lofty position.
Shands, a senior from Poly, won the 1,500 meters in 4 minutes, 59.8 seconds, was second in both the 800 and 3,000, and anchored the Bears' winning 3,200 relay. Coach Leonard Braxton's team won the women's title with 113 points, after a fifth-place finish in 1991, when Shands was sidelined with a stress fracture in her left foot.
The Morgan State men, meanwhile, erased the memory of 1991's last-place finish. Bowen missed most of last season with a hamstring pull, but yesterday he set meet records in the 1,500 (4:01.9) and 800 (1:54.2) with just 45 minutes rest in between. His weekend also included some nifty splits in the 3,200 and 1,600 relays. With Bowen earning Outstanding Performer honors, the Bears placed fourth, two points behind Coppin State and within striking distance of champion South Carolina State.
Bowen's 800 best for St. Catherine's High in Jamaica two years ago was 1:57.2, but last spring, when he was the MEAC outdoor champion, he dipped all the way to 1:50.1. He is 6 feet 1, and the unusually tight turns at Swarthmore College's Lamb-Miller Field House weren't to his liking, but given the right setting and competition, Bowen thinks he can meet the NCAA indoor qualifying standard of 1:49.1.
Shands was the All-Metro choice at 400 meters in 1988, when she ran the distance in 56 seconds for Poly. Her future lay in the 800, and she ran 2:09 in winning the 1990 MEAC outdoor title. Her progress was slowed by that stress fracture last year, but like Bowen, Shands thinks she's ready for a breakthrough.
"Jim Kidd [a city youth track and field coach] brought Lisa to us four years ago, and I knew right away we were getting a good one," said Braxton of Shands, a psychology major with a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average. "She's had her ups and downs because of injuries and illness, but very few people have her heart."
Shands was backed by Lisa Edmonds, who nipped her in a record-setting 800 (2:20.7), and junior Andrea Thomas, who set another meet record in the 400 (55.0). Morgan State also won the 1,600 relay, with April Sessoms and Geneva Pugh joining Edmonds and Thomas, who anchored in 54.2.
All are in for a long weekend, as Braxton has entered his men and women in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 relays at the Mobil 1 Invitational in Fairfax, Va. today.
In the men's meet, Coppin State finished third behind the distance corps that won the MEAC cross country title. Sophomores Courtney Bennett and Euan Hinds finished 1-2 in the 3,000, and they teamed with Sam Willoughby and Nicholas Eugene in the top foursome in the 3,200 relay.
Morgan State got a meet record of 48.9 in the 400 from Troy McIntosh, a sophomore from the Bahamas.
UMES, which was fifth in the men's standings and fourth in the women's, also runs to an island beat. Dawnette Douglas, a junior from Bermuda, won the -- and was second in the 200, and Jonathan Lindsay, a junior from Antigua, reached a personal best of 23 feet, 11 inches in winning the long jump. Sophomore Justin Spring set a meet record of 21.7 in the 200, was second to McIntosh in the 400 and helped the Hawks to another meet record in the 1,600 relay, 3:19.5.
Florida A&M's Kanyon Singletary edged Shands for women's Outstanding Performer honors. Singletary won the 200 and shot
put, and was second to Douglas in the 60 dash.
Team scores--1. South Carolina State, 82 1/3; 2. Florida A&M, 74 1/3; 3. Coppin State, 65; 4. Morgan State, 63; 5. Maryland-Eastern Shore, 56; 6. tie, Delaware State and North Carolina A&T, 29; 8. Howard, 28 1/3.
3,200 meter relay--1. Coppin State, 7:52.7, meet record; 2. Morgan State, 7:55.6; 3. Florida A&M, 8:04.9. 60 hurdles--1. Tate, SCS, 7.3; 2. Tillman, FAMU, 7.5; 3. Browne, NCAT, 7.7. 60 ----1. Phoenix, SCS, 6.2; 2. Moore, NCAT, 6.3; 3.. Simon, SCS, 6.3. 1,500--1. Bowen, MSU, 4:01.9, meet record; 2. Eugene, CSC, 4:04.2; 3. Kelly, FAMU, 4:06.3. 400--1. McIntosh, MSU, 48.9, meet record; 2. Spring, UMES, 49.4; 3. Riggs, UMES, 49.8. 800--1. Bowen, MSU, 1:54.2, meet record; 2. Mickle, How, 1:55.2; 3. Carpenter, FAMU, 1:56.0. 200--1. Spring, UMES, 21.7, meet record; 2. Pemberton, UMES, 22.3; 3. Hancock, SCS, 22.4. 3,000 --1. Bennett, CSC, 8:59.8; 2. Hinds, CSC, 9:11.2; 3. Kelly, FAMU, 9:13.7. 1,600 relay--1. UMES, 3:19.5, meet record; 2. Delaware State, 3:19.6; 3. Florida A&M, 3:23.1. Long jump--1. Lindsay, UMES, 7.27 meters; 2. Stargel, FAMU, 7.16; 3. Jenkins, SCS, 7.03. High jump--1. tie, Faust, SCS and Lea, DSC, 6 feet, 10 inches; 3. Smith, MSU, 6-10. Pole vault--1. Bowman, SCS, 12 feet, 3 inches. Shot put--1. Spaulding, SCS, 14.57 meters; 2.
Edwards, NCAT, 14.40; 3. Sargeant, DSC, 14.16.