Will men, women break hex and win a conference track title?

May 05, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

The Western Maryland College men's and women's track and field teams will try to do something this weekend that neither has done before -- win a conference title.

Before this season, they competed in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

Now competing in the Centennial Conference, both will be among the favorites when the championships begin Saturday at Gettysburg.

The Green Terror has come on strong. Evidence of that was its sweep of the Western Maryland Invitational on April 23.

The women won, 181-121, over runner-up and conference rival Gettysburg. The men had a tougher time defeating second-place Frostburg, 163-146. But the second-best conference finish was Gettysburg, which took fourth with 68 points.

Most of the Centennial schools were represented at the Western Maryland Invitational. Haverford was an exception, and it will give the Green Terror teams the biggest challenge.

Nine schools will compete on the women's side, eight on the men's. The championships conclude Sunday.

The Western Maryland women will be led by sophomore Julie Cox (Liberty). Sheplaced in the top three in six events at the Western Maryland Invitational -- including first-place finishes in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles.

Junior Kent Lightbourn and senior Rob Johnson (North Carroll) have dominated their events all season. Lightbourn won both the 400 -- and hurdles and also was part of the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays two Saturdays ago in Westminster. Johnson captured the 100 -- and was on a leg of the winning 400 relay at the same WMC Invitational.

As for MAC championships, the men's best finish was tied for third in a field of 17 teams in 1973; last year's women's team was tied for seventh out of 18 teams for their best-ever finish.

Tennis

The women's tennis team will take three singles players and one doubles team to this weekend's Centennial Conference championships at Washington College.

Sophomores Amie Chilcoat (12-0), Karen Fulton (9-4) and Carrie Froth (8-4) helped lead the Green Terror to a 7-6 season and 6-4 in conference play. Senior Amy Krug will team with sophomore Anne Plunkett in doubles.

It's the second straight winning season for the women who finished 6-5 in 1993. It marks the first time the team had back-to-back winning seasons since the 1978 and 1979 seasons.

Representing the men's team (3-9) this weekend at the championships at Gettysburg are singles players Kevin Barnhardt and Matt Roff -- both freshmen who finished 4-8 during the regular season -- and a doubles team of junior Colin Clark and freshman Jay Junkin.

The men were 0-8 in conference action.

Women's lacrosse

After enjoying one of its finest seasons ever, the women's lacrosse team can only sit and wait to see if it gets a bid to the NCAA Division III championships.

The team broke into the Brine/Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III poll for the first time this week and finished the regular season 12-2. The 12 wins tied a school record; the 1987 team that advanced to the Division III semifinals finished 12-3.

The eight-team national championship includes five teams with automatic berths and three with at-large bids.

Johns Hopkins is all but assured the automatic bid in Western Maryland's South region. The selections will be made Monday.

Men's lacrosse

The Green Terror men's lacrosse team (6-7) will have to get by No. 8 Washington on Saturday to come away with a .500 season -- no easy task.

Senior co-captain Ken Higgs (Westminster) will play his final game in a Green Terror jersey. Higgs leads the team with 30 goals and also has 19 assists.

Baseball

Going into the final weekend, the baseball team was 11-13 with a chance to come away with a winning season. Instead, it lost, 7-3, to Dickinson on Friday and dropped two to Franklin & Marshall the next day -- 4-0 and 8-6 -- to finish the season 11-16.

Softball

It was a bittersweet 1994 campaign for coach George Dix and his team.

After winning the MAC championship last year and losing only one starter, they had to settle for a share of the conference crown with Gettysburg. Both teams ended the conference slate with 12-2 marks.

Two one-run losses at Muhlenberg on April 17 kept them from winning the conference outright. Earlier in the season they swept co-champ Gettysburg, 5-4 and 7-6.

They tied a school record in victories, going 21-5. The 1992 team finished the season 21-6.

Senior pitcher Marilyn Naas closed out her brilliant career by tossing the program's first perfect game -- an 8-0 win over Lebanon Valley on Saturday. Her 43-12 mark in four years at Western Maryland is tops in school history.

Golf

After coming away as the individual medalist in the Centennial Conference golf championships Sunday, freshman Brian Barry is waiting word on whether he'll be invited to participate in the NCAA Division III championships later this month.

Barry fired a 4-over-par 184 over 45 holes to take top honors at the two-day championships at Eagle's Landing Golf Course in Berlin, Md. The Green Terror finished second as a team, 18 shots behind Gettysburg.

Selections will be made Wednesday, with the national tournament to take place May 17-20 at King's Grany Country Club in Fayetteville, N.C.

Jeff Dierks was the last Green Terror golfer to compete in the national championships two years ago.

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