UNC-Greensboro to give Big South soccer a kick


No, that wasn't North Carolina-Charlotte being added to the Big South Conference, as reported in The Baltimore Sun last week. Along with Towson State and UMBC, the Big South's other newcomer next September will be UNC-Greensboro.

Towson State's bid for a fourth straight conference title in men's basketball can't be stopped by UNC-Charlotte, which is staying in the Metro Conference. UNC-Greensboro, meanwhile, has just one year's experience in Division I, and though it won't be eligible for basketball honors until 1994-95, the Spartans immediately add to the Big South's stature in soccer.

UNC-Greensboro won the NCAA Division III title five times from ++ 1982 to 1987, then moved up to Division II in 1988. Last year was its first in Division I, and Towson State coach Frank Olszewski said the inclusion of the Spartans will boost the Big South's chances of getting an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

"From our standpoint, it's great to have them," said Olszewski, whose Tigers have won or shared the East Coast Conference title the past three years. "The better the competition, the better we'll be."

BALANCE PAYS OFF: UMBC didn't win a single championship in its two years in the ECC, but the Retrievers had enough strength across the board to win the first -- and probably last -- President's Cup for overall excellence.

The Retrievers were second to Rider in the Men's Commissioner's Cup, which weighs performance in all sports, and trailed Buffalo and Towson State in the women's competition. The President's Cup combined the two standings, and UMBC was a surprise recipient.

The Northeast Conference combines men's and women's performance in its Commissioner's Cup. Mount St. Mary's was second to Fairleigh Dickinson. In the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Coppin State was fifth and Morgan State sixth in the men's All-Sports standings. The Bears were second and Coppin State fourth in the women's.

Essex won the President's Cup given to the top junior college program in the state.

The Knights' baseball team was winning a loser's bracket game at the Junior College World Series yesterday, and Bill Silverthorne's golf team will be in Jekyll Island, Ga., June 2-5 for the NJCAA Division II tournament.

* DIVISION III CONTINGENT: At least seven state athletes are in Waterville, Maine, competing in this week's NCAA Division III track and field championships.

Frostburg State qualified decathlete Brian Olson and its 4x100 relay. Steve Forman, a sophomore from Francis Scott Key High, is in the 200, and Kevin Kanyan, a sophomore from McDonough High in Charles County, has a javelin best of 200 feet, 7 inches. Tim McCrary has a best of 14.5 in the 110 hurdles, and John Jones qualified in the 400 hurdles.

Sylke Knuppel, a Johns Hopkins junior out of Glenelg High who reached 157-11 at the Penn Relays, is in the women's javelin. Western Maryland's Kent Lightbourn was a provisional qualifier in the men's 400.

* LONG WEEKEND WAIT: Three state athletes are in next week's NCAA Division I championships in Austin, Texas, and several others are high on the provisional qualifying list. The latter will head to last-chance qualifying meets or hope that they remain high among the provisional qualifiers, who round out the various fields.

Maryland triple-jumper Marchelle Payne, Morgan State 400 sprinter Andre Thomas and Mount St. Mary's decathlete Rob Pendergist had automatic qualifying performances. Coppin State NTC half-miler Diana Pitts and Navy steeplechaser Greg Keller are high on the provisional lists, and hope to round out the fields in their specialties.

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