Dick Buerkle, the man with the shaven head, shattered the world indoor record far the mile last night with a front-running 3:54.8 victory in the National Invitational meet at College Park.
Buerkle, on Olympic 5,000-meter man who moved down this year, wiped out Tony Waldron's 1974 indoor mark of 3:55.0. He led all the way, passing the quarter in 57.2, the half in 1:58.9 and the three-quarters in 2:58.3.
Filbert Bayi, second all the way, was far back in 3.58.4, unable to match Buerkle's closing burst.
Buerkle learned of his achievement when records official Norm Brand walked up with an application blank. Buerkle grabbed the clipboard, raised it high and went off on a victory lap.
Larry Shipp, who first won the 60-yard hurdles here as a St. Albans School student in 1973, captured his fourth title in 7.13 seconds, two-hundredths under Dedy Cooper's old automatic timing indoor record.
Shipp edged Auburn's James Walker, 7.14; Maryland freshman Renal do Nehemiah, also 7.14, and Kerry Bethel of Essex, 7.15, in as close a finish as the Accutrack has been asked to untangle.
"I knew I'd beaten Walker," Shipp said, "but I couldn't see anything on my right, so I had to wait for the announcement. Leaning into the tape, it's a split second thing and you can't be sure.
"I need to work on my speed and I didn't really feel competitive. But I guess it's inside you. It was a bad-weather day and athletes are basically entertainers. I was glad people showed up and I wanted to do something for them."
The 60-yard dash was almost as close, with Olympian Harvey Glance of Auburn winning in 6.16 seconds. Jess Williams of Richmond was next in 6.17, followed by Maryland's Bob Calhoun, 6.19, and Auburn's Tony Easley, 6.20.Steve Williams, a slow starter as usual, could not recover and placed fifth.
Mark Belger of Villanova was a most impressive winner of the half-mile for the second straight year.Belger allowed Mark Enyeart, the man who beat him out of an Olympic berth by inces to set the early pace. After Enyeart passed the quarter in 53.3, Belger raced past and extended his lead to 12 yards at the finish as he clocked 1:49.1, an American indoor record.
Patti Loverock, a Canadian Olympian turned in the world's fastest automatic time for 60 yard with 6.78 victory, slicing 11 hundredths off the mark set here last year by West Germany's Elvira Possekel.
There were three false starts and highly rated Freida Davy Nichols, responsible for the third jump, was caught in the blocks on the start that counted and finished a distant third.
Lorna Fordc, like Nichols a native of Barbados, ran away with the 440 in 53.9. Forde was the outstanding performer in last year's meet, when she set a since-eclipsed indoor record of 53.8.
Deby LaPlante of the D.C. Striders, enjoying cross-country skiing in zero temperature at Plattsburg, N.Y. on Thursday, made the switch to the 60-yard hurdles with no trouble. The U.S. Olympian, who completed in Australia in December, won unchallenged in 7.97, fastest automatic time ever recorded for the event.
Carmen Brown of the Brooklyn Atoms was next in 8.17. Defending champion Carol Thomson, who recorded a fine 8.03 last year, was far back this time, finishing fourth in 8.22.
The relays, which always seem to produce early-season mishandling of batons, bumps and disqualifications, got off to their usual uneven start. John Baskin of Norfolk State, running the first turn of the first leg of the first race, a mile relay, grabbed his leg and dropped out with a pulled muscle. Morgan State won in a routine 3:24.5.
A fine anchor half by Gideon Terer of Kenya enabled Fairleigh Dickinson to capture an early two-mile relay in 7:42.2.