he Atlantic Coast Conference has adopted a new scoring system for its outdoor track and field championships, but about the only way it could alter the results would be to sabotage the Maryland bus.
The Terrapin, who have won 21 straight titles, collected 121/2 points a year ago on a 6-4-3-2-1 basis. The 24th annual meet will be contested today and Saturday at Lannigan Field in Charlottesville, with the scoring on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 system and the big question seems to be whether Maryland can reach 200 points this time.
"No way," snapped Maryland coach Frank Costello. Then, after a pause, he added, in a different tone, "that would be great, wouldn't it?"
What figures to prevent such an occurence is the large number of running wounded at College Park. Among the noncombatants are Dave Watt, two-time 800-meter champion; pole vaulter Mike Remus, and javelin throwers Tim Ulam and Steve Florian. Middle distance stars Dave Sandridge and Mike Adderly are doubtful. Larry Long, a good long jumper, will continue his efforts to the triple jump.
The injury list is so long that Costello claims to fear the possibility of an upset, by North Carolina State.
"Everybody laughs at me," Costello said, "even my own coaches and athletes. But if you take it for granted, you can get yourself whipped. I have respect and fear of N.C. State. I'm not going to take them lightly. They looked tough indoors and did nothing. They can be a superteam outdoors. If they reach their potential, they can take it right down to the wire."
North Carolina State's stable includes Bob Medlin, a virtual cinch for his fourth straight shotput title and a discus contender as well. State can challenge Maryland in both relays and figures to score heavily in the sprint, hurdles, 400 and 800. It still does not add up to more than a respectable second place finish.
Costello claims to be "concerned about the half." With Watt missing from the 800, Maryland could be shut out in that event, but there are 19 on the program and last year Maryland scored in all of them.
Among the best of the Terrapins are Brian Melly, a 7.1 high jumper; Ian Pyka, third in the NCAA indoor shotput; discus and shot ace Tom Andersson; long jump defender Dennis Ivory, and the 1975 winner of that event, John Davenport; hurdles doubler Greg Robertson; distance ace Tony Garner; Jim Kirby, a 257-foot javelin man; discus thrower Scott Lancaster.
Five of the 19 events will be decided this afternoon - a steeplechase, 10,000 meters, shotput, long jump and javelin.