Declan Hegarty launched Boston University's drive for a first-ever IC4A team title with a meet-record hammer throw of 228 feet 7 inches today as heavy rain otherwise disrupted the 107th edition of the United States' oldest track and field competition.
Another meet record, a 64-6 3/4 shot put by Princeton's Augie Wolf, went the way of a homer in a washed-out baseball game when that event, along with the long jump, was canceled in midstream and rescheduled for Sunday.
In the only other final completed today, Fairleigh Dickinson's Elliott Bikani, a freshman from South Africa, won the 10,000-meter run in 29:08.8. Daryl Simoneau was second, giving Boston University eight points for a total of 18 and the lead entering Sunday's concluding program. But favored Villanova, defending champion Princeton, Fairleigh Dickinson, George Mason, Penn State and Northeastern also carried dreams of victory back to their hotels tonight.
George Mason, still a threat despite passing up a certain 10 points by withholding Rob Muzzio from the decathlon Thursday and Friday, posted the fastest time of 40.39 seconds in the semifinals of the 4x100-meter relay.
That event brought a setback to Villanova, which has endured a disastrous outdoor season. A dropped baton, on the first pass from Rodney Wilson to Chip Jenkins, eliminated the Wildcats, who had been expected to finish as high as third, and left them with little room for further error as they pursue a 14th outdoor IC4A title.
Besides its fine sprint relay effort, George Mason got a boost when Reggie Henderson posted the best qualifying time of 47.26 in the quarterfinals of the 400 meters. He later cruised into the final in 47.18. Henderson also held off Pittsburgh's Mario Joyner by two-hundredths of a second to give the Patriots a berth in the 4x400 final.
Mason's John Parker moved into Sunday's 100-meter final and 200-meter semifinals, while relay partner Frank Raines also reached the 200 semis. Lenny Russell of James Madison had the fastest 200 time, 21.24.
George Mason Coach John Cook, who decided to save Muzzio for the more prestigious NCAA decathlon May 30-31, came close to second-guessing himself after seeing Ken Jones of Lehigh win with only 7,299 points.
"Obviously, Rob could have won without going all out," Cook said. "We had expected (Princeton's Brad) Urschel to do much better than that and Rob is such a competitor that he would have given his best even if we told him not to."
Hegarty, a senior from Ireland, added more than six feet to the IC4A hammer mark in winning his third straight title. He was disappointed, however; he'd been hoping for something near the 241-2 with which he finished second to Robert Weir's 243-0 at the Penn Relays.
Weir, an Englishman who attends Southern Methodist and holds the collegiate record of 246-4, is the man Hegarty wants to beat in the NCAA meet. Hegarty had no real competition today, winning by almost 30 feet, but those 10 points in the team race were most important