Though Frank Harden and Jackson Weaver of WMAL-AM (630) as usual won the morning audience in the recent winter 1986 Arbitron ratings, impressive shifts in the rest of the field are providing some viable competition in radio's most important time slot.

Showing real force this time was WAVA-FM (105.1), where Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara hold forth with silly antics, an array of voices and skits. WAVA increased from a 3.1 share for mornings in the fall book to 4.3 this time, putting it in ninth place. "It has taken less than 90 days to happen," said Alan Goodman, the station manager. "The show is family-oriented, appealing to teens as well as parents, and up-tempo."

Donnie Simpson of WKYS-FM (93.9) moved into second place with 58,900 listeners behind WMAL's 81,700.

All that repositioning was aided by the drop in shares for Doug (Greaseman) Tracht of WWDC-FM (101.1). Tracht's share plummeted from 8.4 in the fall 1985 book to 6.5, dropping him from second to fourth place. WTOP-AM (1500) continued to be strong, though it lost some shares, and WMZQ-FM (98.7) took a solid gain in the morning that reflected its monopoly in the country format.

In other news in the morning: The male cohost on "The Continental Breakfast" show at WASH-FM (97.1) is now "Tyler Haney," better known as the show's executive producer Tom Tradup. This is an effort, said station manager Tom Durney, to "lighten it up a bit." Arthur Crofton, the former cohost, had not been on the air since April 4; initially the station said he was on vacation. "The decision is one of his choosing," said Durney.

Meanwhile, WASH's fifth consecutive slip in the ratings has prompted speculation that the station might abandon its hybrid contemporary-hit mix of "your favorite oldies and today's great new hits." Durney said WASH is reaching the upscale population its advertisers prefer, but that the same people didn't receive Arbitron diaries. He said the station had increased its play list to 1,800 songs but that a format change is just a rumor.

The morning race, according to Arbitron, stacks up like this: ps,8 ld,8.6 il,2.5p ir,3.5p 1. WMAL-AMws 10.4 2. WKYS-FMws 7.5 3. WTOP-AMws 6.8 4. WWDC-FMws 6.5 5. WGAY-FMws 5.7 6. WHUR-FMws 5.4 7. WMZQ-FMws 5.3 8. WRQX-FMws 5.0 9. WAVA-FMws 4.3 10. WCLY-FMws 3.7

In the evenings the closest battle has been between Melvin Lindsey at WKYS and his successor at WHUR-FM (96.3), Mansy Pullen. The new survey shows WHUR lost a sizable audience at night but still held onto the lead. The preference at night is clearly for soft black music, the only offerings of WHUR and WKYS and the partial programming of third-place WDJY-FM (100.3).

The leaders at night are: ps,8 ld,8.6 il,2.5p ir,3.5p 1. WHUR-FMws 10.5 2. WKYS-FMws 8.1 3. WDJY-FMws 5.7 4. WAVA-FMws 5.4 5. WWDC-FMws 4.8 WGAY-FMws 4.8 WXTR and Origination

WXTR-FM (104.1) has resolved a charge by the Federal Communications Commission that it was violating a program origination rule. However, the question of whether a $10,000 penalty will have to be paid by the station's former attorneys is still open.

The commission charged in March that WXTR-AM (1560) and FM were operating almost the entire week out of Marlow Heights instead of originating 51 percent of the nonentertainment programming from their place of license, La Plata, Md. William Dalton, station president and general manager, said this week that both stations had been granted a waiver and now are in compliance.

"We were in noncompliance because of faulty legal advice. Our lawyers said we didn't have to apply for the waiver," said Dalton. The lawyers who handled the original work, he said, are now appealing the fine. Meanwhile, the FCC has approved transfer of WXTR-AM from the Dalton Group to a Wilmington, Del., businessman. Public Money

WETA-FMsw,-2 sk,2 ld,10 (90.9) raised $250,635 in its eight-day marathon, exceeding its $225,000 goal. In last spring's effort, the station raised $270,000 in 9 1/2 days with nine pitch-free hours, compared with 10 hours free of solicitation this year . . . WPFW-FM (89.3) had raised $102,684 by noon Wednesday. Helping Hands

Today from noon to 2 p.m. John Dowling, Walt Starling, David Burd and Jeff Baker of WCLY-FM (95.5) will be signing up people to participate in the May 25 Hands Across America effort at Farragut Square. Also expected are Kenny Rogers, USA for Africa President Ken Kragen, the Rev. Billy Graham, Mayor Marion Barry and news anchor Maureen Bunyan . . . Tomorrow Bill Hickok, Les Carpenter, Larry Walton and Gene Packard of WWRC-AM (980) will sign up participants at Montgomery Mall from noon to 7 p.m.