As both coaches and athletes, Don Paige and Mike Shine enjoyed a winning feeling yesterday in the Potomac Valley Athletics Council outdoor track championships at University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium.
Paige, serving in the unfamiliar role of rabbit, captured the 800 meters in an excellent 1:46.7. In the process, he led two of the men he coaches at Villanova, John Hunter and Mike England, to qualifying times for the NCAA meet, starting Wednesday at Provo, Utah.
Shine won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 50.2, his best time in two years, and doubled with a pair of 21.7 clockings in the 200 meters. The 1976 Olympic silver medalist has been running hard intervals against some of the women he coaches at Penn State and one of them, Tammy Hart, earned an NCAA berth with her winning time of 53.6 in the 400 meters.
Happiest of all the competitors was Maryland's Per Kristoffersen, who left the 1,500-meter field behind after two laps and won the event in 3:43.3, qualifying for the NCAA by three-tenths of a second.
A mile relay quartet composed of District high school students, officially classified as Club Olympia's C team, whipped the A and B squads and everyone else in a surprising 3:16.9. Sophomore Wayne Sescoe of H.D. Woodson anchored in 48.0, following Anacostia's Gable Barmer, Woodson's Terry Moore and Theodore Roosevelt's Darril Haywood.
Other top performances were recorded by Alda Cossi of D.C. Capitol, who tied the stadium record of 2:06.8 in the women's 800, and teammate Reginald Henderson, a George Mason transfer student who won the men's 400 in 46.7.
The highlight of the meet, however, was the appearance of Paige, who won the Olympic Trials 800 in 1980 and was ranked No. 1 in the world. From the first gun at 9 to the start of the 800 at 2:10, officials were kept busy answering a common question, "When's the 800?"
Paige let everyone know he would set the pace and he covered the first 400 in 53.7. Hanging onto the lead without visible effort, he helped Hunter, 1:47.3; England, 1:47.6, and Georgetown's Brian McNelis, 1:47.8, earn trips to Provo.
"Running out front is hard," said Paige, who is noted for his devastating kick. "I'm not used to it. I only do it in practice, and then very rarely. I needed a little time trial for myself, to see where I was at, but the main thing was to bring these guys in. The team comes ahead of me."
Shine pulled away from Maryland's Chris Person to win the intermediates, as Person finished in 51.0 and missed an NCAA berth by two-tenths of a second. Despite such a fine effort, in his first hurdles race since the Penn Relays, Shine said he probably would not compete in the TAC/USA Championships at Knoxville, Tenn., June 18-20.
"For a one-shot deal like today, I can psych myself up mentally to overcome the physical things that aren't there," said Shine, 28. "But down there I'd have to run three days in a row and the recovery is too much. I just don't have the time to train.
"I felt like a million dollars at the sixth hurdle--it was scary, almost like the old days. I felt good over 10, too, and I could have broken 50 with a little more push at the finish. I guess the relief at not having any more hurdles showed.
"I'll run a good race and get the urge, but I can't find the time. I get my kicks now watching somebody like Tammy come through. I've been working hard with the girls and it's great to get results like that."
Shine had planned to compete in the high hurdles as well, but missed the event because of confusion over the time of the final when heats proved unnecessary. He then asked to run the 200 and, after nipping Eleanor Roosevelt grad Bill Shelton of Texas A&M with a 21.7 heat, he scored a convincing victory over Maryland's Larry McKinney in the same time in the final.
Kristoffersen threw his jersey and shoes in the air when he learned his 1,500 time.
"This is early for us; we usually start in June," said the Norwegian who ran 3:41.0 last summer against world-class competition. "I was faster last August against (Steve) Ovett and those guys. But there you just follow them. Here I had to work for it."