Greg (Fly) Robertson was the spark yesterday as Maryland ran away with its 23rd consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference outdoor track and field championship.
Robertson, stunned teammate Renaldo (Skeets') Nehemiah in the 110-metter high hurdles, won the 400-meter intermidiate hurdles in a meet record 50.8 seconds and ran the opening leg on both Terp relay teams. The busy afternoon by the junior from South Bend, Ind., easily sent Maryland on its way to the team title.
Scoring points by the handful in the sprints, hurdles, triple jump and pole vault, the Terps piled up 182 1/2 points to 121 for runner-up North Carolina State. Virginia was third with 84, North Carolina had 78, Clemson 58 1/2, Duke 42 and Wake Forest 16.
N.O. State had hoped to close the gap in the team race, which Maryland annually makes a shambles of, and, after the Terps blew an exchange in the 400-meter relay, the opening event, and did not finish, it appeared that the race could be tightening. But then, in the words of Coach Frank Costello, "the guys really came back and showed they had a lot of self-pride.
"I was real upset after the 400 relay" in which Andre Lancaster and Bob Calhoun failed to make connections on the second exchange, said Costello. "So I wanted to see how our guys respond.
The Terp won seven events on the 14-event program and were awesome in several races. They went 1-3-4 in the 100, won by Nehemiah; were 1-2 in the high hurdles and pole vault,and went 1-3-4 in the triple jump.
But while Robertson was having a great day, Nehemiah, the freshman who holds the world indoor record in the 60-yard high hurdles, was having "only a fair one."
Nehemiah finished second to Robertson in the high hurdles, clocking a wind-aided 13.8 seconds to his teammate's winning 13.6.He then won the 100 meters in a windy 10.45 in a mild surprise over Ghanan Olynpian Albert Lomotey of N.C. State, but slipped in his blocks at the start of the 200 meters and placed second behind Lomotey in 21.39. Lomotey set a meet records of 21.09 in winning.
"After we missed the exchange in the 400 relay (which he was scheduled to anchor) I didn't care about the hurdles," Nehemiah said. "Oh, I cared, but I didn't have any drive and I hit four or five hurdles.
"In the 100, I just forgot what happened and ran a good race. Then the blocks slipped in the 200. It was just a bad day."
Dennis Ivory was much happier. After being upset in the long jump Friday Ivory won the triple jump yesterday with a leap of 51 feet, 3/4 inches.
Brian Melly cleared 7-0 in the high jump and Mike Remus went 15-0 for the Terps' other field-event victories. Maryland also won the mile relay in 3:12:03 with the makeshift team of Robertson, Joe Morris, Andre Lancaster and Mark Fields.