Pitts leads area qualifiers to NCAA track COLLEGES

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

The education of Diana Pitts continues this week in New Orleans.

Pitts, a Coppin State junior, qualified for the NCAA track and field championships for the second straight year. When she went to the 1992 meet in Austin, Texas, it was with fewer than a half-dozen tries at her new-found specialty, the 800 meters. She's healthier and more familiar with the distance this year, but still learning.

"Diana had the fastest time going into the ECAC championships," Eagles coach Don Webster said. "But she drew a bad lane [nine], nearly tripped at the halfway point and was lucky to finish third. That was the first time this year she's really had to race, and she's looking forward to the better competition this week."

Pitts was one of the nation's fastest 400 sprinters in 1990 for Christiana High in Delaware. Webster was impressed with Pitts' work ethic and range -- she was the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference cross country champion last fall -- and she took well to the 800 experiment last year, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in addition to the NCAAs.

This spring, Pitts' 800 best is 2 minutes, 6.24 seconds.

Navy sent three men to the championships, which began yesterday and conclude Saturday: Greg Keller (steeplechase), Todd Washburn (5,000) and Stan Duplaga (javelin).

Marchelle Payne is back in the triple jump for Maryland, and 110 hurdler Kelvin McQueen is the first male Terp to compete in the NCAAs in four years.

Mount St. Mary's Jim Stevenson, a junior from Sheffield, England, completes the state contingent. He went to New Orleans with the sixth-best qualifying score in the decathlon, 7,580 points.

A pair of former Woodlawn High standouts are down to their last

chances at an NCAA title. Florida's

Torrance Zellner is the choice of some in the 400 hurdles, and James Madison's Jerry Roney was second in the 110s last year. Wilde Lake grad Matt Holthaus, one of Roney's teammates, qualified in the 1,500.

Sylke Knuppel (Glenelg) completed a solid career at Johns Hopkins by winning her second straight Division III javelin title.

Hall of Famers

Six former Towson State standouts will be inducted into the Tiger Hall of Fame tomorrow (6:30 p.m.) at the University Union.

Leigh Buck Bradley (Class of 1975) starred in field hockey and lacrosse; Dorothy Crocker Hyman ('71) was on the 1969 national championship gymnastics team; Miguel Ferrer Roig ('82) was a swimming All-American; Candace Normile Klopp ('71) was the Tigers' first gymnastics All-American; Pat McKinley ('81) led the basketball team to Division II prominence; and Stephanie Roche Wilson ('79) is still the all-time scoring leader in women's basketball.

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