Lori McCauley of Rutgers set a meet record of 52.7 seconds in the 400 meters in the quarterfinals of the Eastern AIAW Division I track and field championships yesterday at Georgetown.

McCauley, the national indoor champion in the 400, broke the record of 53.0 held by Morgan State's Roberta Pell. "That's my best time ever," said the senior from Hillstown, Pa., who took the lead about halfway through the race. "I just wanted to run a good time. It is really hard to know what they (the other runners) were doing. I'm going to try to run faster than I did today."

McCauley's teammate at Rutgers, Tosca Blandford, and Long Island University's Maureen Prendergast tied in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 14.1.

"I practiced hard the week before the meet and this week I didn't practice too hard," said Blandford, a freshman from New Brunswick, N.J. "I'm going to come and try to do it again."

Rhonda Mason of James Madison was the only runner from a local school to do well. The freshamn from Sussex, Va., won her heat in the 200 meters, in 24.4, and said, "I will try to run the curve better . . . I realized that I didn't run the curve well and I had to make up for it."

Renee Henderson of Pittsburgh qualified for the 100- and 200-meter semifinals and Sharon Pfister of West Virginia leads the heptathlon with 3,035 points after four of the eight events. Tina Shriver of Towson State was second with 2,994; Georgetown's Maryanne Baley 10th with 2,393.

In Annapolis, West Chester State won three of the seven events completed on the first day of competition to take a commanding lead in the Eastern AIAW Division II track and field championships at Navy's Ingram Field.

West Chester State leads George Mason, which won the 4x800 relay in 9:10.21, 71-46. Navy is third with 26 points.