For Howard University, another trio to cloud nine was marred by a silver lining today.

Anchorman Richard Massey overhauled Villanova's Tim Dale to snap the tape in the mile realy at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. With Massey's blazing 47.8 quarter, Howard clocked an excellent 3:16.49 for Cobo Arena's tight layout.

But a five-minute wait for the second section of the split final brought the same disappointment to Massey that he suffered in Friday night's 440. Kunsas captured that second head in 3:15.61 and Howard settled for silver.

"It was added disappointment," said Massey. "We thought if we won our heat, we'd win the race. We thought Villanova was the team to beat. But Kansas came to win it for themselves."

It was natural for Massey to be wounded, since he had placed second in the 440 after winning his heat. But it was a satisfying finish for the rest of the Howard team, consisting of Gosnell White (50.2), Zack Jones (49.2) Villanova's crack quartet, the ICAA champions, has been a goal throughout the winter on the indoor cirucit.

"I'm happy to go away with four all-Americas," said Howard coach Bill Moultrie. "A lot of other bad things could have happened. It's an honor within itself just to beat Villanova.We'll certainly have a different approach to outdoors. Having four all-Americas ought to excite some of the rest of the people."

Cliff Wiley of Baltimore, running the third leg for Kansas, matched Massey's 47.8.

Wilson Waigwa of Kenya and Texas-El Paso charged through the final quarter in 54.6 seconds to capture the featured mile in 3:58.97. But it was his third-place countrymen. Henry Rono, who had the most to be excited about.

Rono, a 22-year-old freshman running the mile an hour after he had smashed a meet record with an 8:24.83 two-mile success, collected enough points to lift his school, Washington State, to its first indoor title. The Cougars finished with 25 1/2 points, one-half point more than Texas-El Paso, which had won here for three straight years.

Rono and Waigwa wert two of five foreign winners today as foreign athletes accounted for nine of 15 individual titles. In addition, Texas-El Paso's all-Kenyan quartet set a meet record of 9:43.11 in winning the distance-mtd-ley relay.

Greg Joy of Texas-El Paso, who brought Canada the Olympic silver medal, won the high jump with a meet-record leap of 7-3. Nat page of Missouri shared the record but not the title, placing second because of a couple of lower-height misses.

Ron Baird of Australia and Long Beach State edged Earl Bell on fewer misses to win the pole vault at 17-4. Brian Worden, who cleared only 16-6, still shared fourth place and brought Washington State 1 vital points.

Michael Solomon, a Trinidad native running for New Mexico, held off Adelphi's Kevin Price wo win the 600 in 1:10.01.

There were two upsets on the straightway. Jeff Lee, a Nebraska junior idled since high school by a knee injury, upset outdoor hurdles champion Dedy Cooper of San Jose State by one-hundredth of a second in the 60-yard, barrier event. In the 60-yard sprint, Houston junior Gred Edmond decisively whipped defending champion Harvey Glance of Auburn with an excellent 6.12 electronic clocking.