Renaldo (Skeets) Nehemiah, a world class hurdler, and Kent Burno, never beaten a Maryland teammate at 1,509 meters until yesterday, turned an expected close Maryland-Navy track meet into a 104 2/3-58 1/3 Terrapinaout at Byrd Stadium.
Nehemiah, a freshman and world record holder in the 60-meter indoor hurdles, won three events - the 110-meter high hurdles, the 100 meters and the 200 meters - and anchored the 440 relay team.
The events that worried the Terps going into the meet were the 400, the 800 and 1,500 meters. They won all three, with Burno capturing the most applause from the estimated 2,000 Byrd Stadium sunbathers by topping off his 1,500 victory with a come-from-behind effort that nipped Navys Rich MacInnes at the wire in the 800.
When Maryland ran 1-2-3 in the next event, the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, the Terps had clinched a victory with four events remaining. Indoors this past winter, Maryland won the final event, the mile relay, to eke out a 70-66 win over Navy.
Nehemiah's strength helped him running into the wind yesterday. His 13:5 clocking in his specialty was excellent, considering the conditions. He won the 100 meters in 10.7 and came back a half-hour later to pull away from the 200-meter field in 21.4.
"This is a good workout for me," he said. "I normally run the 100 and 200 for endurance. I should be strong enough to run it (in competition). I ran it basically today to score points. If I won it, good. We're running against Navy."
Burno's double surprised practically everyone except his coach, Frank Costell. The 1,500 was the first critical event of the day for the Terps and Jim Kehoe, Maryland athletic director and former track coach, had been pacing nervously in the infield.
"That was a big surprise, I can't tell you how big that was," Kehoe said moments after Burno took advantage of a slow pace to take a comfortable lead halfway through the final lap, then held off the challenge of Navy's Dave Stehlin, who finished second.
"That's the first time you ever beat me, you creep," teammate Dave Sandridge said, grinning, after finishing third.
Chris Turner, Maryland's other entry in the race, was disqualified for a false start, putting even more pressure on Burno, who transfered from Hagerstown Junior College this semester. The former Crossland High runner had attended Maryland as a freshman, but said he had neglected his studies and went to Hagerstown for three semesters.
He was not even listed on Maryland's 65-player, eight-coach roster. After Burno won the 800 with his closing kick - "I had no strategy because of the little rest. I didn't expect to win it at all" - Costello said:
"He may have surprised other people, but he didn't surprise me at all. He's super. If everybody on the team was like Burno, we would win the nationals. He's got the biggest heart of anybody on the team. It was not a surprise to me."