Allen goes extra 400, finds niche

ON COLLEGES

March 10, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Twana Allen was recruited as a quarter-mile runner at Coppin State, but began concentrating on 800 meters last winter at the urging of the Eagles' coaching staff.

Talk about sound advice.

Allen, now a senior, became the first Coppin runner to qualify for the NCAA indoor championships when she posted a school-record time of 2 minutes, 8.20 seconds in last weekend's preliminary round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference meet in Boston. It was the 12th-fastest time in the nation this season.

"To me, the 800 was a distance race, and I was kind of doubtful about it at first," said Allen, who also has won the mile event at the West Virginia Holiday Classic, the 400 at the Delaware Collegiate Invitational and the 800 at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships. "I didn't think I could move up, but, in time, I realized it was my race."

Allen broke former Coppin standout Diana Pitts' 800 indoor record of 2: 08.54. Pitts was a two-time All-American and the only Eagle to qualify for the NCAA outdoor championships.

A native of Avenel, N.J., Allen has enjoyed some success outdoors by winning the 800 in the MEAC championships last season at 2: 10.65 and placing third in the ECAC championships at 2: 09.21.

The accomplishments of Allen and Pitts are more remarkable, considering that Coppin doesn't have a track. Allen's training regime includes running at Druid Hill Park and Douglass High School, or inside the Eagles' gymnasium at the Coppin Center. She also does road work and spends time in the weight room.

"It's an adjustment," she said, "but I trust my workouts."

Back to Chestertown

Why would Washington College women's basketball and softball coach Lanee Cole accept the job of basketball coach at Iowa Western Community College, not far from her family's home in Minnesota, then change her mind and return to the Shorewomen?

"I spent a week out there, and it was a great opportunity, great basketball country. But my heart's here at Washington," she said. "I just couldn't get motivated to work there."

Cole's decision is good news for Washington. She guided the Shorewomen's basketball team to its best record this season, 15-8. Last spring, she led the softball team to a school-record 13 wins.

Towson-Cornell football

Towson State athletic director Wayne Edwards has arranged a home-and-home football series with Cornell of the Ivy League. Just be patient -- it's not until the next century.

The Tigers, who will join the Patriot League in 1997, will play host to the Big Red in 2002 and will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., in 2005.

Yale still hasn't committed to a game in 2001, but Edwards is hopeful. He has lined up Columbia and Penn in 1997, and Columbia again in 1999.

Miscellaneous

The College of Notre Dame broke seven school records and finished second among 13 teams at the Atlantic States Swim Championships. The Gators' Curt Jordan was named Coach of the Year. . . . Morgan State sophomore Ameerah Bello of the Virgin Islands set a school record in the 200 meters in the ECAC indoor championships at Boston University at 23.82. She also qualified for the NCAA indoor championships.

UMBC junior David Bobb was one of three runners in the country to compete in the 55 and 200 events at this weekend's NCAA indoor championships in Indianapolis. The other two were from Kentucky. . . . Navy's men's track team tied for 19th out of 51 participants at the IC4A indoor track championships at Harvard. Top finishers for Navy included Jon Clemens, who was sixth in the 3,000 meters at 8: 23.82, Scott Barnacle, who was seventh in the 5,000 meters at 14: 36.93, and the distance relay team that placed fifth at 9: 58.06. . . . Mike Merritt of Mount St. Mary's was chosen Northeast Conference women's track and field Coach of the Year after leading the Mountaineers to their second straight NEC indoor title.

St. Mary's freshman Kim Crance has qualified for the NCAA Division III swimming championships Thursday through Saturday in Atlanta after posting a meet-record time of 24.77 in the 50 freestyle at the CAC championships. . . . Maryland junior Kerrie Dowes placed first in the mile run at the ACC tournament with a time of 4: 47.09, then came in third at the ECAC championships at 4: 47.03. She qualified for the NCAA indoor championships. . . . UMBC's men's and women's swim teams each placed second in the ECAC championships. The Retrievers' Sid Burkot was named ECAC men's Coach of the Year.

Pub Date: 3/10/96

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