Georgetown's Kehoe Field offers a breath-taking view of Washington and the surrounding area from the top of the Hilltop. However, it provides no break from a relentless wind that yesterday blew steadily at more than 25 mph during the inaugural Hoya Invitational Track Meet.
With most events contested in heats on a time basis, the wind was a key factor in some scrambled results. Runners worried more about fighting the wind than following a measured pace, more about beating the immediate opposition than in conquering the clock.
So Georgetown's Lloyd Gellineau upset internationalist Don Paige in the 800 meters, Seton Hall's Linton Williams nipped Morgan State's Ed Yearwood in the 400 and Seton Hall's Tommie Nnakwe defeated Morgan's Curtis Riddick in the 200. In each case, what the winner actually did was run a faster time in an earlier heat.
Paige, running in competition for the first time in 11 months, held off Georgetown's Brian McNelis down the stretch to capture the top-seeded heat of the 800. But the wind and cold reduced the scheduled 10-man field to four and there was nobody to set a fast pace as Paige slogged through the quarter in 58.5 and finished in 1:53.53.
Gellineau clocked 1:52.81 as he held off teammate Aubrey McKithen (1:53.32) in an earlier seven-man heat.
"I don't care," said Paige, who missed the indoor season because of a leg injury. "This is my first race in 11 months and my first half-mile outdoors in close to two years. I wanted to break into it slowly and this was a little time trial for me. I wanted to see how I'd respond mentally and physically.
"It's going to be a long year, but I'll make Helsinki (world track and field championships in August) in the 800."
Yearwood, who later anchored Morgan State to victory in the 1,600-meter relay, eased up as he won the featured 400 heat and was timed in 48.9, to Williams' 48.8 two races earlier.
"This was a workout for me," Yearwood said. "With the wind, you couldn't get a good time, anyway. I relaxed on the backstretch and I guess I relaxed too much."
Nnakwe, best known for his hurdling ability, was timed in 21.3--wind-aided, of course--while winning the lowest-ranked of the four 200 heats. The time held up to take the overall event.
Villanova's John Keyworth, a freshman from England, left no doubt of his superiority in the 1,500, as he raced past Georgetown's Kevin King in the stretch to take the top heat in an excellent 3:49.7.
Eleanor Simonsick, two-time winner of the Cherry Blossom 10,000, dropped down to 3,000 and displayed a potent kick to beat Sue Girard, the North Carolina State graduate who had used the taller Simonsick to shield the wind during much of the race.
"I knew she'd use me as a windbreak, so I thought I'd give her five laps, then I'd take two behind her and see what I could do after we got out of the wind on the straightaway," Simonsick said.
In a notable achievement considering the obstacle presented by the wind, Rick Mori of Catholic University won the pole vault with a personal best of 16 feet 1 inch. Gerald Gorham of Morgan State took the high jump at 7-0 1/2 as Jerome Carter managed only 6-8.
Rodney Wilson of Villanova easily defeated Morgan's Jack Pierce in a 110-meter hurdle final that boasted as much talent as an IC4A event.
Morgan State dominated the women's competition with nine championships, but Villanova's tireless Patty Bradley took home two titles as she won the 800 meters and the 400-meter hurdles 45 minutes apart.