Vince Reilly had not competed in the decathlon in three years, but today the Maryland junior won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
"I did it for the team," said Reilly, who would prefer to concentrate on the pole vault. "The team needed the points so two weeks ago I decided to compete in the decathlon."
Reilly, a former junior national decathlon champion, won the 10-event competition with a meet-record 7,250 points, but had to sweat out the final event, the 1,500-meter run, before claiming the title.
Defending champion Willy Pirtle of Virginia ran the fastest 1,500 of his career to send meet officials scrambling for a scoring chart before determining Reilly had won by seven points.
The victory, coupled with a 1-2-4 finish in the long jump, enabled Maryland to score 48 points on the first day of the two-day meet. That was six fewer than 1980 champion Clemson, which had 54, but the Terps are expected to outscore the Tigers in Saturday's competition.
North Carolina State was third with 34 points, Virginia had 30, North Carolina 12, Georgia Tech 7 and Duke 1. Wake Forest did not score.
Kevin Wilson led Maryland's showing in the long jump with a leap of 23 feet 11 1/2 inches. Ward Wilson placed second and Cornelious Cousins was fourth.
Virginia's Mike Cotton won the 10,000-meter run in a meet record 28:55.1 and Clemson's Hans Koeleman and Julius Ogaro went 1-2 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Koeleman's winning time of 8:40.88 also was a meet record.
N.c. State athletes won the two other finals. Joe Hannah put the shot 55-10 1/2 and Mike Murphy threw the javelin 237-5.