Jim Kehoe, former Maryland athletic director and track coach, attended today's Navy-Maryland-Princeton triangular meet and put things in perspective for Terrapin backers: "The best thing in life is beating Navy. The only thing better is beating them twice."
Maryland beat the Mids only once, but the margin of victory was so decisive that Navy Coach Jim Gehrdes sat in the stands long afterward staring straight ahead in a state of shock. Maryland totaled 99 points and almost tripled the score on runner-up Princeton (36 1/2) and host Navy (34 1/2).
Leading the slaughter was world-record hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah, who won his specialty as well as the 60-yard dash and ran the fastest split (48.2) for the victorious Terrapin milerelay team.
Nehemiah's official 60-yard hurdles clocking was a hand-timed 7.0, but he was recorded electronically at 7.08, excellent time for a low-pressure race although well off his world indoor record of 6.88. In the sprint, Nehemiah was clocked in 6.1 officially and 6.28 electronically.
"There's a psychological incentive in proving that I can run world-class times without haveing a world-class hurdler against me," Nehemiah said. "The main thing I stress in a meet like this is discipline, not taking the competition for granted. It's an ideal meet to have an upset."
Including trials in the short events, Nehemiah ran five times today within 2 1/2 hours. He competed in the mile relay by request, "for conditioning purposes, because you don't want to get stale running 60 yeards da in and day out."
Navy usually gives the talented Terrapings a tight battle indoors -- the margin last year was four points -- but this time not even the T-shirts reading "Burp a Terp, Beat Maryland" could psych the Mids against a Maryland team that received maximum performances from just about everybody.
"You could feel the tension out there," said Maryland Coach Frank Costello. "The kids got the ball rolling, and I certainly wasn't going to tell them not to score."
One of the best of the Terrapins was versatile freshman Chris Person, who won the 600 in 1:11.2, just 20 minutes after placing fourth in the high hurdles. Later, Person led off the two-mile relay in 1:56.3. The Terrapins won that climactic event as Dave Ungrady, the 880 winner earlier, anchored in 1:54.4. It was Maryland's 11th victory on the 16-event program, with Princeton winning three and Navy two.
The Terrapins swept all four places in the pole vault and finished 1-2-3 in both the long jump and high jump. Bob Calhoun took the long jump at 24-9 1/2, but withdrew from the 60 because of a tight thigh muscle he pulled Tuesday.
The only event in which Maryland did not score was the 35-pound weight throw, conducted outdoors with the competitors heaving their burdens into a mudhole. Navy's Ken Lewko lost his grip as the snow pelted down and the weight sailed at a right angle, narrowly missing the head of Princeton Assistant Coach Fred Samara.
It was an omen for Navy, which was off target the rest of the day.