Maryland long-jumper Kevin Wilson experienced the full cycle of emotion today in the 50th IC4A Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Wilson, who graduated earlier this month, usually trails teammates Cornelious Cousins and Ward Wilson, but today Cousins strained a hamstring when he slipped on the putty used to indicate fouls and Ward Wilson was bothered by a tender left ankle. So Maryland, for once, depended on Kevin Wilson and he responded with the longest leap of his life, 25 feet 4 3/4 inches.
That effort seemed destined to hold up for the gold medal, until of Bermuda, sixth with one jump remaining, hit his career best, 25-11, to pull out the victory.
"I've wanted 25 for a long time and I think I can do better," Wilson said. "I should have done better today. I coundn't hold him back, but I hope I can get even in the NCAA. I qualified once and didn't go, because they knew I wouldn't be a factor. This year, I think I'll be a factor."
Wilson was a key factor today in Maryland's grabbing a big lead in its bid to retain the team title. The Terrapins posted 36 points, the same number they had at this stage a year ago when they eventually won with 100. Southern Connecticut stood second with 16 but the only challengers to Maryland are Seton Hall, limited to Philip's 10, and Fairleigh Dickinson, with a mere six but a lot of potential in Sunday's closing program of 16 events.
Cousins, the defending champion, finished fourth at 24-3 1/2 after that costly foul jump was measured at 25-11. Ward Wilson, third in 1980, could not even qualify for the final. Both also were members of the Terrapins' 400-meter relay team that qualified for Sunday's final in 40.71 seconds. Ward Wilson will run Sunday, but Cousins probably will be replaced by David Saunders. Worse, Cousins is almost certain to be kept out of the triple jump, where he was among the favorites.
"The doctor said it was up to me, but he's too good a kid to risk something worse," said Maryland Coach Stan Pitts. "Three kids got hurt on that putty. It was so hot, it got just like glass and anybody fouling and putting his weight on it ws sure to slip."
Besides Kevin Wilson, the Terrapins received big efforts from Martin Green, Al Baginski and David Crimmins.
Green, a senior from Ireland, battled for the 10,000-meter lead until the final lap and finished third behind another Irishman, Providence's Ray Treacy, and New Hampshire's Dean Kimball to add six valuable points to Maryland's collection.
Baginski, the favorite in Sunday's discus, increased his personal best in the hammer throw by almost eight feet in taking fourth place, qualifying for the NCAA meet with 194-3 1/2. The winner was Irish sophomore Declan Hegarty of Boston University at 208-2 1/2.
Crimmins, fifth after the trials of the shot put, grabbed fourth place with a heave of 56-0 1/2. Jim Dawson of Northeastern won with 59-1.
The Terrapins are guaranteed plenty of pole-vault points Sunday, since they have four of the eight finalists. Besides the 400 relay, the Maryland 1,600 unit of Paul Sewell, Sauders, Ray Oglesby and Chris Person qualified in the day's best time of 3:11.59.
Person gained the final of the intermediate hurdles, in which he is the defending champion, as well as the semifinals of the highs. Darren Walker reached the 100-meter final and Bill Thierfelder and Ted Robinson qualified in high jump.
Chuck Wimberly of George Mason fought off Kevin Byrne of Georgetown to gain the 1,500-meter final, with Byrne one spot too far back to qualify. George Mason's 400 relay team reached the final and Frank Raines advanced to the 200 semifinal. Phil Reilly and John Sullivan were Georgetown's only successful athletes today, advancing in the 1,500.
Navy will be represented Sunday by Leo Williams in the high jump and Jon Haugen in the 1,500.
Host Villanova lost any chance for the team title when sprinter Willie Sydnor pulled a muscle on the third leg of the 400-meter relay.