Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan, the world indoor mile record holder, stepped up to the three-mile run tonight and turned in the third-fastest time ever on an 11-lap-to-the-mile track to highlight the national AAU indoor track and field championships at Madison Square Garden.
Coghlan's times was 13:02.8
Emiel Puttemans of Belgium has the two fastest times for the distance and holds the world record at 12:54.6, set in 1976.
Coghlan's time is the fastest run indoors in the United States.
Bruce Bickford of Boston ran an American-record 13:06.7 in finishing third.
Footballer Curtis Dickey breezed to victory over some of the world's top sprinters in winning the 60-yard dash, much to the delight of the dozen or so NFL scouts in attendance.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Dickey, a tailback at Texas A&M and a sure first-round draft pick in the upcoming pro football draft, easily defeated Harvey Glance and Steve Riddick in 6.09 seconds.
World indoor record holder Houston McTear, suffering from a leg injury, did not make it to the final.
"I'm just running for the fun of it," said Dickey, who added that he expects to be one of the first five players picked in the draft.
Most NFL people agree with him.
"He runs with the wind. He's big and he's fast. What more can I say?" said the New York Jets' personnel director, Mike Hickey.
"I think all of the scouts know how fast I am, but if winning a few races will impress them more, then I'm all for it," Dickey said.
Maryland's Renaldo Nehemiah, who hasn't run a competitive hurdles race since early January because of exhaustion and an ankle injury, scratched from the 60-yard high hurdles race tonight.
Rod Milburn, the 1972 Olympic gold medalist, won the race in 7.09 seconds.
Milburn, who laid off for 4-1/2 years, trailed the field badly to the first hurdle, but made up ground over each hurdle, and nipped Lance Babb at the tape.
Milburn said he would have liked to have a run against Nehemiah, "but he certainly doesn't have anything to prove to me or to anyone else. He's smart for being patient and not competing before he's ready."
In the women's 60-yard hurdles, Stephanie Hightower beat Candy Young in a hand-timed 7.4 seconds. The world record, held by Hightower, is 7.47 seconds, but the electronic timer wasn't working for this race.
A group of 40 athletes competing in the meet met Thursday night and voted unanimously to oppose a boycott of the Moscow Olympics.
"They felt that if the athletes in the Winter Olympics had a chance to participate, then the ones in the Summer Olympics should have a chance," said Jimmy Carnes, the 1980 U.S. Olympic track and field coach. "They want to persuade President Carter to find other means of dealing with Russia."
Those 40 athletes encouraged all the other competitors at tonight's meet to sign a petition, which would be sent to the United States Olympic Committee and to the president.
Todd Scully set a world two-mile race-walk record of 12:35.1, bettering his record of 12:40.0.
Earl Bell missed a world record in the pole vault when he failed on three attempts at 18-feet-6-1/2 and settled for a meet record 18-2-1/2. Franklin Jacobs won the high jump at 7-4-1/2.
Cindy Bremser won the women's two-mile run in a meet-record 9:45.0 and was named the meet's outstanding woman performer.Coghlan was the outstanding male performer.
The Muhammad Ali Track Club turned in an American record 3:41.0 in the women's mile relay.