Cooper may be out of the running UMES' Hodge likely Morgan track coach

February 03, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

Tomorrow is National Women in Sports Day. To commemorate the event, Arlise Cooper wishes that the Morgan State administration would keep her in charge of the Bears' track and field program, but it isn't going to happen.

Cooper came to Morgan State as an assistant coach in mid-September, three weeks before Leonard Braxton, the man who hired her, left to go to Arizona State. She has been in charge of the Bears' running teams since November and wants the job permanently, but all indications are that Morgan State is ready to hire an alumnus, UMES coach Neville Hodge.

Raymond Downs, Morgan State's vice president for student affairs, yesterday wouldn't confirm that Hodge will be hired. He did say that he expects a new coach to be in charge of the program by March 1, which would fall between the two biggest meets of the indoor season, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships Feb. 19-20 and the IC4A/ECAC meet March 6-7.

Cooper feels she deserves a chance because of the job she has done reviving a men's team that had struggled while Braxton was busy with his athletic director's duties. She says Morgan State can win its first MEAC indoor men's championship, and she predicts that the Bears could qualify 25 men and women for the IC4As/ECACs.

"Since I've been here, the men's program has turned around," said Cooper, who was one of the nation's top quarter-milers at UCLA a decade ago. "There is more structure in practice, and we're a more organized, cohesive unit.

"I'm one of the few females in the country coaching men, to my knowledge the first full-time women's coach ever at Morgan State. I just hope their [the administration's] decision isn't based on gender."

Big track weekend

Cooper will be taking her men's 4x400 relay team of Kareem Lamb (Catonsville), Troy McIntosh, Ron Keene (Mervo) and Damon Gandy to the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden Friday night.

Coppin State coach Don Webster will spend a good deal of the weekend on Interstate 95. His unbeaten men's 4x800 relay will be in the Millrose Games, and his women's 4x800 is in the Mobil 1 Invitational at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Sunday.

The Eagles' top flier has been Bobby Baker, who won the triple jump at the Princeton Relays with a personal best of 51 feet, 4 inches.

Navy is at Army this weekend, the women Friday and the men Saturday. The relay teams on the men's side have been getting help from a couple of locals. Earl Young, a junior from Calvert Hall, was on the 4x800 that clinched the Mids' victory over Georgetown, and Chris Novak, a senior from C. Milton Wright, was on an IC4A-qualifying 4x400.

599 and counting

The Jerry Phipps victory count has been stuck at 599 for a month.

When Essex Community College beat Camden County, N.J., on Jan. 4, it was the 599th win of Phipps' basketball coaching career, which began at City College. The Knights have since lost eight in a row, and the streak doesn't figure to end today (4 p.m.), when Allegany (17-4) comes to Essex (7-12).

The Essex drought allowed Allegany coach Bob Kirk to beat Phipps to 600 wins. The Trojans gave their coach that milestone victory Jan. 13 with a 26-point win at Dundalk.

Different approach

In their first three seasons in the Northeast Conference, the Mount St. Mary's women won the regular-season title but were upset in the NEC tournament. This time the Mountaineers (10-3, 6-1) trail Fairleigh Dickinson, the last team to beat them.

Mount St. Mary's has won seven straight since that Jan. 9 loss, and the past three were accomplished without point guard Erica Herbert. The senior out of Western High broke a bone in her left ankle against Rider Jan. 23, but she should return later this season. Herbert has 291 career assists.

The Mountaineers have another starter out of Baltimore. Melissa Cuneo, a forward who went to Seton Keough, is averaging 8.4 points and 3.3 rebounds.

Navy has upper hand

When Navy goes to Maryland for their annual wrestling match tonight (7:30), the Mids will be looking to beat the Terps for the seventh straight year. Navy has won 22 of the past 23 meetings.

Both teams are coming off important victories that featured 190-pounders with local ties. The Terps upset nationally ranked North Carolina State, 20-16, and Kevin Brown's decision at 190 clinched the victory. He's a senior out of Poly. Greg Wise, a junior out of Old Mill, clinched Navy's 19-12 win over Lehigh.

Towson State streaking, too

The Towson State gymnastics team will try to extend its dominance of the Maryland State Meet on Sunday (2 p.m.) at the Towson Center. The Tigers set a record of 188.90 points in winning the meet for the fifth straight time last year, but they'll face an additional challenge this season from first-time participant George Washington.

If she isn't slowed by injury, Towson State senior Gabby %J Linarducci could make it three straight state all-around titles.

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