Silly Putty, helicopters and wind snarled attempts at super-altitude marks today, so track buffs at the National Sports Festival were forced to settle for some thinner-than-air photo finishes and the dominance of Frank Shorter.
Nearby, in the Air Force Academy pool, 15-year-old Sippy Woodhead extended her collection of gold medals to six and grabbed a silver for variety.
Shorter and teammate Ric Rojas lapped the rest of the eight-man field in the 10,000 meters with eight of the 25 laps remaining. Shorter, who had been sharing wind-break duties with Rojas, pulled away at that point and finished in 29:29.9, excellent for the 7,250-foot altitude.
Altitude was the reason Olympic champion Arnie Robinson envisioned a 28-foot long jump and Harvey Glance dreamed of a world record in the 100 meters. Glance at least was a winner; Robinson placed second.
Larry Myricks captured the long jump with a wind-aided effort of 27 feet 1 1/2 inches.Robinson managed only 26-5 3/4 officially, but was victimized by that Silly Putty.
Robinson started slowly, but after a long-distance foul on his third of six attempts, he shouted, "It's okay. I've got it." On his next jump, he hit the board perfectly and landed in the area of Myricks' winner.Robinson screamed in anger when a red flag signaled foul, then kicked the turf near his landing point.
What apparently happened was that Robinson's toe, as he took off, nicked the putty laid just beyond the board to show spike marks for fouls. The putty had to be raised, rather than placed level, with the board, so it should have been slanted away at a 30-degree angle. Instead, it was perpendicular.
"He needed that 27-footer to get in the right mental attitude for 28 feet," said Robinson's coach, Dick Hill. "It was strictly set up in violation of the rules."
"I thought I'd get a better jump than I did," said Myricks, the NCAA and AAU champion. "My run-up wasn't that good."
Glance overhauled Mel Lattany inches before the tape to win the 100 meters in 10.41 seconds as a poor start left Steve Williams fourth.
The race was run into the wind, ruining any record hopes, and was marred by a false start and a stand-by delay caused by a helicopter that had inspired a false start in the women's 100 earlier.
"I'm glad I came, because I want to see this meet get off the ground," said the gracious Glance, who took a victory lap with Lattany. "The only thing I regret was that we had to run into that wind. We had a good field, good enough to run a world record. Some tracks are built to go both ways."
James Walker outleaned James King to win the 400-meter hurdles and Darlene Beckford, without a lean, edged Brenda Webb in the women's 1,500 meters in the two most exciting finishes of the day.
Walker, clocked in 49.1, obviously has overcome the ill effects of the sprained ankle he suffered before the Pan Am Games.
Beckford, only 17, ran 4:27:34 as she edged Webb, the AIAW champion, by one-hundredth of a second.
"I knew she was right there and I didn't know if I'd won," said Beckford, who emptied her stomach afterward. "I guess she almost got me with her lean. I don't know how to lean without slowing down."
Sherrie Howard, also 17, clocked an excellent 51.09 for the women's 400, leaving Rosalyn Bryant, Essie Kelley and Lorna Forde up the track.
Nat Page won the high jump at 7-5 1/2, Brenda Morehead ran 11.40 into the wind to capture the women's 100 meters and Stephanie Hightower won the women's 100-meter hurdles in 13.43 with Benita Fitzgerald of Woodbridge, Va., second in 13.58.
Woodhead won the 100- and 400-meter freestyle events today and anchored the West to victory in the 400-meter medley relay. She could not overcome the lead of Midwest's Barb Major on the anchor leg of the 400-meter freestyle relay, however, and the Midwest team was the overall swimming winner, by 10 points over the West.
Bonnie Glasgow of Glen Arm, Md., took the 200-meter individual medley for her second Festival success. Pat Murtash of Fairfax, Va., was second in the 200-meter butterfly, behind Californian David Santos.
James Collins of Bladensburg, Md., the only Washington-area boxer, dropped a decision to Alex Mattos of Hawaii in a 112-pound semifinal.
Shortstop Jim Reed of Annandale, Va., rapped the only homer as the East baseball team defeated the Midwest, 14-3.
James Martin of Alexandria, Va., finished second in the 172-pound judo competition, behind the meet's outstanding competitor, Californian Brett Barron.