Its conference is in limbo, but UMBC is anticipating a big year in 1991-92.
After eight years at the Towson Center, the 1992 East Coast Conference men's tournament will be held at the UMBC Fieldhouse next March. The women's tournament will be held during the same time frame at UMBC, and the Retrievers are ready to work overtime.
"We have the infrastructure necessary to pull it off," assistant athletic director Kathy Zerrlaut said. "The floor in our original gym has been resurfaced, so that gives us another practice floor, and we're looking forward to the opportunity to showcase our facility. It helps that we'll be hosting the Beltway Classic in December."
That Dec. 6-7 affair will most likely be the last involving the Retrievers, Loyola, Mount St. Mary's and Towson State. The conference picture also is shaky for the Tigers and UMBC, as the ECC is without its NCAA automatic bid, but the Retrievers are going to make the most of their stay in the conference.
The coming school year will also bring a new look to the Retrievers' soccer program. First-year coach Pete Caringi will bring with him from Essex one of his junior college All-Americans, as Patapsco High grad Terry Locklear should have an immediate impact at midfield. Curley's Gino Greco, Old Mill's Eric Bathras and Mark Bodnar, the Defender of the Year in Bucks County, Pa., will be freshmen.
Assistant coach Rob Ryerson made a recruiting gain close to home. Tim Ryerson was the fourth brother to play at Oakland Mills High and Nevada-Las Vegas, but he sat out last season with the Rebels and he'll enter UMBC as a sophomore.
The ECC final four will gather Nov. 9-10 at Brooklyn College, a new member that has the biggest soccer profile.
That image was tarnished yesterday when the NCAA banned Brooklyn from the Division I tournament for the next two years for unsportsmanlike conduct in their first-round loss in the 1990 tournament. One of the Brooklyn players punched a linesman in that game.
* Several state athletes have received GTE Academic All-American honors.
Towson State's Kathy Mohr, a senior pitcher from C. Milton Wright, is the first-team designated player in softball for the second straight year. She hit .342 and had a 1.18 earned run average as a pitcher, and in the classroom, the speech pathology major had a 3.43 grade-point average. Teammate Toni Wiggins, a senior outfielder from Olney, was selected third team.
Western Maryland's Claudia Henemyre, a junior catcher from Havre de Grace, was a first-team choice in the College Division. A biology major, she has a 3.87 GPA.
UMBC's John Burns, a sophomore shortstop from Owings Mills, was named to the second team in Division I. Johns Hopkins outfielder Ken Brodkowitz earned similar status in the College Division.
With a 3.22 GPA and a 74.8 stroke average, Loyola junior Tom Graminga is one of the All-America Scholars honored by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
* The Division I track and field championships were a downer for several locals.
Mount St. Mary's Peter Rono, the reigning Olympic champion in the 1,500 meters, lost one of his shoes after one lap and placed third in 3:40.47. Teammate Rob Pendergist couldn't complete the decathlon because of injury. George Mason's Tony Barton, a senior from Milford Mill and the favorite in the high jump, finished fourth. He got over the winning height of 7-6 1/2 , but wind appeared to blow off the crossbar before he could leave the pit.
James Madison's Jerry Roney, a junior from Woodlawn, won his semifinal in a personal-best 13.59 seconds, but settled for sixth in the final, in 13.76. Florida's Torrance Zellner, a high school teammate of Roney's, was one of the fastest qualifiers in the 400 hurdles, but didn't get past the semifinals. Navy's Rob Sehnert was last in the 12-man shot put final.
* The Division III championships, meanwhile, were a celebration for Frostburg State's Al McDougal. A sophomore from Edgewood, he won the 100 meters in 10.78 seconds, and was second in the 200 in 21.51.
Johns Hopkins had two All-Americans, as steeplechaser John Robinson placed sixth and Sylke Knuppel was seventh in the javelin. It was the first season in the sport for Knuppel, a sophomore from Glenelg.