Willie Banks, in a near carbon copy of Carl Lewis' long-jump performance Saturday, managed the second longest legal triple jump of all time tonight, 57 feet 7 1/4 inches, in the 93rd U.S. Track and Field Championships.
It was the best of some great efforts, as sprinter Cliff Wiley of D.C. International defeated an excellent 400-meter field in a meet-record 44.70, Sydney Maree set a meet mark of 3:35.02 to upset Steve Scott in the 1,500 meters and Madeline Manning, 33, established another meet standard of 1:58.50 in the women's 800.
Banks, 25, boosted his American record on two consecutive jumps, climbing from 56-11 to that incredible 57-7 1/4 and coming close to a high-jump mark of sorts as he leaped in celebration. Only Brazil's Joao Oliverira, in the rarefied air of Mexico City in 1975, has jumped farther, 58-8 1/4.
"I just need a little more strength and I will be able to jump 60 feet," Banks said. "I want to break the world record at sea level before I jump at altitude, and I know I can do it. I feel confident that I could beat anybody in the world now."
Wiley, a 200-meter star, switched to the 400 this year because of training problems created by law school studies. Running on the far outside in the ninth lane, he started in front of everyone else and stayed there, as Tony Darden, Willie Smith and Walter McCoy tried in vain to catch him.
"Some people thing that lane is a disadvantage, but I've run the outside before," Wiley said. "It can be an advantage, because you control the race and everybody has to key off you. You can surprise everybody. I even surprised myself coming around that last turn, because I moved into fifth gear for the first time in my life.
"The 400 isn't my favorite race, but I thought I could do better in the quarter than the 200 this year. It's easier for me to train for and doesn't disrupt my studies. I'm in the first year of law school and it's not the easiest."
Wiley, 26, a Baltimore native, graduated from Kansas in 1978 and is attending law school there. However, he spent the last two weeks training in Baltimore and said it got him ready for the heat here, which reached 102 degrees today.
Maree, a South African who is married to an American and has applied for American citizenship, earned a position on the U.S. team for the World Cup by beating Scott. Officials indicated that they would cite an International Amateur Athletics Federation ruling in picking Maree, although they expected protests from the Soviet Union, among others.
Maree cannot compete in the U.S.-Russia meet, because the agreement with the Soviets specifies that only citizens are eligible.
Maree forged past pace-setting Tom Byers with 600 meters remaining and Scott stayed on his shoulder until the last 30 meters, when Maree finally was able to open some daylight, covering the last lap in 52.7 seconds. Afterward, in a commendable display of sportsmanship, Scott and Maree took a victory lap, arm in arm.
"I'm glad my feet were able to do the talking today," Maree said. "I had to show the world that this was a vital opportunity that I so much needed. I have suffered enough."
Manning, who captured the gold medal at Mexico City, gained her sixth national title with a front-running effort. She is the only American ever to run faster, accomplishing it twice.
Leann Warren of Oregon, second in 2:00.08, and Washington, D.C. native Robin Campbell, third in 2:01.02, were running personal bests. Fifth-place Kim Gallagher of Fort Washington, Pa., set a national high school record of 2:01.82. Chris Mullen of Georgetown was seventh in 2:04.3.
Edwin Moses, behind as he approached the next-to-last barrier, finally overhauled NCAA champion Andre Phillips of UCLA and extended his intermediate hurdles winning streak to 63.
Moses' time of 47.59 seconds was the sixth best in history, all by Moses, who owns the top nine times. Phillips' runner-up 48.10 made him the No. 2 American behind Moses and lifted him to fourth on the all-time world list.
"The guys don't want me to get to a hundred," Moses said. "I was relaxed around the curve and I was not really worried in the entire race. I was just waiting. I'm just running to win now. I'm training less and less. I just can't train to go 46."
Evelyn Ashford completed a sprint double with a meet record of 22.30 seconds in the 200 meters, a remarkable time since she was running into a wind measured at 9.54 mph. Ashford won the 100 Saturday in 11.07.
Henry Marsh charged through on the inside with 50 meters left to whip Amos Korir and Solomon Chebor in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:30.7. John Gregorek of Georgetown, eight with a lap to go, sprinted home fourth in 8:32.
James Robinson took the 800 meters for the fourth straight year, clocking 1:45.53 as he held off Mike Boit in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle down the stretch.
Dave Laut's opening toss of 70-10 1/2 stood up to win the shot put, as Michael Carter was runnerup at 69-6 3/4 and defending champion Brian Oldfield settled for third at 69-6. Maryland graduate Ian Pyka hit 63-11 and did not make the eight-man final.
Jeff Phillips of Tennessee pulled a big upset in the men's 200, edging UCLA's Eric Brown of Hampton, Va., in 20.36 as favored James Sanford was a distant third.
Billy Olson won a prolonged pole vault competition by clearing 18-2 1/2 on his final try, as the bar shook precariously before staying up.
Sandy Myers set a meet record of 56.43 seconds in the women's 400-meter hurdles and Pam Spencer set another meet standard with a high jump of 6-4 3/4.
Jodi Anderson retained her women's long-jump title at 22 feet 1/4 inch, as Carol Lewis, Carl's sister, failed to complete a family sweep by placing third at 21-5 1/2.