Udo Beyer, a 6-4, 287-pounder who looks like a defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Raiders, added 2 3/4 inches to his world record in the shot put today as he reached 72-10 3/4 on the first day of the U.S.-East Germany dual meet.
At day's end, however, most of the happy faces belonged to the host team, which recorded some astonishing performances and built a 108-100 lead in the combined standings. The U.S. men were far in front, 70-46, while the women, who are not competitive in most field events, trailed by only 54-38.
The 4x100-meter relay team of Alice Brown, Diane Williams, Chandra Cheeseborough and Evelyn Ashford came within .03 of the world record in soundly defeating an East German quartet that included two world record holders and a four-time Olympic gold medalist. The 41.63 clocking sliced .66 off the previous American mark.
Louise Ritter became the first American woman to clear 2 meters (6-6 3/4) in the high jump as she led the only one-two sweep for the U.S. women. Ritter failed in three attempts at a world record of 6-7 3/4.
Carl Lewis compensated for three poor baton passes as he made up five meters on Jens Huebler in the last leg of the men's 4x100-meter relay and brought the United States victory in 38.71.
Mary Decker went under 4 minutes for the second time and turned in the fastest women's 1500 meters on American soil as she pulled away from German Christiane Wartenburg in the stretch and won in 3:59.93.
Tom Petranoff responded to Detlef Michel's opening throw of 302-1 by sailing his javelin 310-5 on his fourth attempt to win the heralded showdown between the world's best in that event.
Steve Scott covered the final 400 meters in 52.9 seconds to overhaul German Andreas Busse and capture the men's 1500 in 3:39.45.
Edwin Moses lacked his usual smoothness, but he finished comfortably ahead of German Volker Beck in 48.46 and extended his unbeaten streak to 76 in the 400-meter hurdles.
One of the few disappointing results for the U.S. team came in the women's 100, where world record holder Marlies Goehr of East Germany beat Ashford out of the blocks and won their sprint confrontation in 11.39 seconds into a headwind.
But Ashford, who lost her balance, stumbled and barely salvaged second place, earned some revenge later. She happily threw the baton in the air and embraced her teammates after completing an astounding relay victory that brought most of the 15,829 spectators to their feet.
The U.S. quartet, with little practice time, exchanged the baton flawlessly, while East Germany was hurt by a brief bobble between second runner Baerbel Woeckel and No. 3 Silke Gladisch.
But Brown and Williams already had established a three-meter lead over Marita Koch, the world record-holder at 200 and 400 meters, and Woeckel, Olympic 200-meter and relay gold medalist in both 1976 and 1980. Cheeseborough then broke it open and Goehr had no chance to catch Ashford.
East Germany set the world mark of 41.60 in the 1980 Olympics at Moscow and the U.S. runners said they would attempt to lower it next week at altitude in the National Sports Festival.
"We can only get better and I would go so far as to predict a world record at Colorado Springs," Ashford said. "This track is too soft, too new. But I'm excited, very excited. It's been a long time since we had a good showing in the sprint relay. Give us some credit--we kicked their butts."
For further emphasis, Brown returned later to win the 100 meters over Gladisch and two other East Germans in 11.08--with only a slight wind at her back--in the International Summer Games, a companion meet to the East German dual meet.
It is safe to say that no human except Lewis could have made up the deficit created by the sloppy handoffs of his relay predecessors--Emmit King, Mark McNeil and Willie Gault. Huebler managed to maintain his form down the stretch and the finish was in doubt until the last five meters, when Lewis cruised past in overdrive.
"I'm glad I'm not doing anything else in this meet--that was an exhausting leg," Lewis said. "I thought I would get him even when there was 50 meters to go. I felt I had to take the responsibility for any mistakes made during the race, since I am the TAC champion."
Dave Laut took the shot put lead with an excellent second attempt of 71-9. But Beyer, after two fouls and a routine 67-0 3/4, came up big on his fourth of six tries.
Beyer, through an interpreter, said he did not consider himself ready for a record effort. "I was just hoping to win," he said, "and I hope when I come back here next year I will be on the stand in the same position again."
"I had an idea it would take a world record to win this meet," Laut said. "It is difficult to throw 71-9 and lose. I mean, 71-9 isn't exactly stinking the place up."
Aside from the shot, the East German men prevailed only in the 400, where 18-year-old Thomas Schoenlebe ran down Elliot Tabron in a hand-timed 45.2, and the 10,000, won by Werner Schildhauer in 28:48.14.
The United States enjoyed one-two finishes in the triple jump, with Willie Banks first in 55-2, and the pole vault, with Jeff Buckingham topping 18-0 1/2. King took the 100 in 10.30 and Henry Marsh won the steeplechase in 8:28.71.
The East German women enjoyed sweeps in the javelin, discus, 400 meters and long jump, where U.S. champion Carol Lewis was a spectator, her right foot encased in bandages after she was burned by a chemical dripping from an ice pack.
Among the winners in the International Summer Games were Kim Turner, 13.14 in the women's 100 hurdles; Alejandro Casanas of Cuba, 13.69 in the 110 hurdles; Chris Whitlock, 45.77 in the 400; Al Miller, 10.29 in the 100; and Craig Masback, 3:40.53 in the 1500.