Year-end awards programs can be blase affairs, but the Winter/Spring Sports Banquet tonight at Salisbury State became hot ticket two days ago.
Last month, Salisbury State announced that the featured speaker would be Dick Schultz, the executive director of the NCAA. Implicated in major rules violations that occurred at Virginia when he was the Cavaliers' athletic director, Schultz announced Tuesday that he was resigning as head of the NCAA.
Schultz will stay on the job until a successor is named and said he'll honor all of his commitments, including tonight's banquet and a visit to UMES tomorrow.
Schultz's appearance is one of the events turning May into a busy month for Salisbury State. The men's lacrosse team has just one regular-season loss in the past three seasons, and the Sea Gulls feel that this is their year to win the NCAA Division III title. They're home Saturday (2 p.m.) against Washington College in the quarterfinals, and might not have to leave the state for the NCAA tournament. The championship is May 30 at Byrd Stadium.
Dundalk Community College is making the most of Elliott Oppenheim's 25th year in coaching.
Most of Oppenheim's 431 career victories came at the Community College of Baltimore. He's in his seventh season at Dundalk, which this weekend will be the host team for the Region XX Division II tournament. The top-seeded Lions (24-11) are hoping to advance to the first National Junior College Athletic Association Division II tournament in Millington, Tenn., May 22-28.
Dundalk's top two hitters, shortstop Brian Baroody and outfielder Jeff Lewis, are from Virginia. Jason King, a sophomore right-hander out of Cardinal Gibbons, has a 5-1 record and a 1.83 ERA, and Kevin Rexrode (Dundalk High) is 5-2.
The Region XX Division I tournament this weekend will be at Essex (12-9), the defending national champion, which is seeded sixth.
Johns Hopkins (26-8) figures to be named to the NCAA Division III tournament Sunday. Frostburg State will visit Lebanon Valley Sunday for the start of a best-of-three Eastern College Athletic Conference South Region championship series.
Maryland is ninth seed in the ACC tournament, but UMBC and Towson State open the Big South tournament today with legitimate title hopes. Navy, which received an at-large bid to the ECAC tournament, is also still in the running for an NCAA bid.
Track and field's fastest
It was only good for seventh place at the Heptagonal track and field championships, but the 1:51.51 turned in by Navy's Earl Young was the fastest 800 meters by a state competitor this spring. He's a junior from Calvert Hall.
Even though Rob Pendergist is taking a medical redshirt, Mount St. Mary's still might have someone in the NCAA decathlon. Junior Jim Stevenson, who lost 1992 to injuries, met the provisional qualifying standard with a score of 7,580 last weekend. His long jump (23-8 1/4 ), high jump (6-8), 400 (47.64) and 110 hurdles (14.98) are among the state's best marks this season.
The ECAC championships for women are Saturday and Sunday at George Mason. Coppin State's Diana Pitts, one of the favorites in the 800, won the 400 at the George Mason Mizuo Invitational last week in 53.9, giving her the state's best performance in the 400, 800 (2:06.24) and 1,500 (4:35.19).