Bill Collins and Charles Foster whipped top-ranked East Germans last night in the Northeast Ohio Knights of Columbus meet, but controversy left the losers feeling like whipping boys.

Collins, a 27-year-old Houston native, outleaned Steve Riddick and Steve Williams in 6.3 seconds in the 60-yard dash. All three members of finish picture with a magnifying glass. American's world record-setting 400-meter relay team later checked the No. 1 in the 100 meters last year, Eugen Ray, the East German ranked placed fifth and vainly protested that he had been elbowed at the start.

Adding to the confusion was a re-run in the first semifinal, necessitated by a collapse of a section of track at the start. In addition, the automatic timing sevice was inoperative.

Foster, 24-year-old hurdling veteran, originally was placed second in the 60-yard highs to Thomas Munkelt, the East German who holds the No. 1 world hurdles ranking. A protest gained a reversal, but by then the East Germans were leaving the building with the trophy.

"My head was out front decisively and my shoulders were still ahead of him." Foster said of that tight finish in 7.1. "They said that he won because his chest crossed first."

Kenyans Mike Boit and Wilson Waigwa were easy winners. Boit slashed a second off the meet record for the 1,000 with a 2:07.3 clocking in a race hurt by the withdrawal of flu victim Mark Belger. Waigwa captured the mile in 4:03.4 after everyone slowed down on hearing the quarter time of 56 seconds. The actual split was 63.

Freida Davy Nichols of the D.C. Striders won the women's 440 in 57.8, but two other Striders were beaten. Maurice Pooples was overhauled by Herman Frazier on the final turn of the men's quarter. Frazier winning in 48.6 Fred Soweby, the early pacesetter in the 600, would up fourth as Mike Solomon of Trinidad prevailed in 1:11.6.

Four men cleared 17.6 in the pole vault, Poland's Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz winning on fewer misses when all failed at 18 feet. Mike Tully managed only 17 feet for fifth.

Francie Larrieu matched her own meet record of 2:06.2 in the women's 880.

Ben Fields won the high jump at 7 feet 4 inches, adding two inches to the meet record. Kyle Arney and Nat Page also cleared 7.4, while Greg Joy managed 7-2 1/4 and Olympic champion Jacek Wszola only 7 feet. Franklin Jacobs, the indoor record holder at 7-7 1/4, withdrew because of the flu.