Milt Ottey of Texas-El Paso and Del Davis of UCLA broke the national collegiate record in the high jump today with leaps of 7-7 1/4 in the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Brigham Young University.

Ottey, a 5-foot-10 Canadian, won the competition on the basis of fewer misses. Ottey also established a Canadian record and Davis' leap equaled the American record of Dwight Stones.

Both jumpers passed at 7-8 1/4 to attempt a world record 7-9 1/4. Both had near misses on their first two attempts and both missed badly on their third tries.

Navy's Leo Williams, the defending champion and two-time NCAA indoor champion, had a personal-best 7-6 1/4, as did two other jumpers. Williams was awarded fourth place, based on number of misses at lower heights. Brent Harken of Washington State was third.

Ottey finished second to Williams last year and in the previous two indoor championships.

"I gave it all I had," Williams said. "I trained and pointed for this meet all season. I did my best; it just wasn't good enough."

Williams barely missed 7-7 1/4 on his first two attempts, brushing the bar off with his legs on the way down.

"I was turning prematurely and just clicking the bar," he said.

"Milt jumped well today, but I'll be back."

Ottey's teammate, Suleiman Nyambui, won his fourth straight 10-000-meter title, recordng 29:03.54.

Ottey, a sophomore at UTEP, said he had expected to be pushed by Williams, but was surprised by Davis, whose previous personal best was 7-3.

Going into Saturday's final day of action, UTEP, going for its fourth straight title, led the men's competition with 72 points and Washington State was a distant second with 47. In the women's competition, UCLA leads with 89 points and Oregon is second with 62. Virginia is in fifth place with 40.

In the women's 100 meters Benita Fitzgerald of Tennessee, a graduate of Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Va., ran a wind-aided 11.13 to finish third in the event.

Fitzgerald, a junior, started quickly as the field was bunched, but after 50 meters, the defending AIAW champion, Merlene Ottey of Nebraska, pulled away to win in 10.97. Jeanette Bolden of UCLA was second in 11.12.

The wind reading was 3.14. The allowable for records is 2.00.

Ottey holds the collegiate record of 11.07. The American record is 10.90 by Evelyn Ashford.

Houston's 400-meter men's relay team ran 38.53 to establish a meet and collegiate record. Running in the seventh lane, leadoff man Charles Young gave the Cougars a slight lead and by the time they got to anchorman Stanley Floyd the only thing in question was by how much the Cougars would win. Floyd, the favorite in the 100 meters, won by five yards.

Northwest Louisiana was second in 39.03.

Lisa Welch of Virginia finished sixth in the women's 10,000 final with a time of 9:39.63. Teammate Marisa Schmitt was 15th in 10:23.58.

Howard University's 1600-meter relay team, which ran an NCAA meet-record 3:02.66 in the trials Thursday, is favored to win the final Saturday. Mississippi State had the next-fastest qualifying time, 3:02.80.

The Howard foursome consists of Edward Simms, Richard Louis, David Charlton and Oliver Bridges.

Georgetown's John Gregorek will seek the 1,500 crown Saturday.

Virginia's Ray Brown finished third in the men's 800 in 1:48.6. David Mack of Oregon won in 1:48.00.

Virginia's Jill Haworth couldn't keep up with the leaders, but held on to finish third in the women's 1500 meter run in 4:21.07. Oregon's Leann Warren won in 4:17.90.