Displaying a lot of comradely team spirit, the East German track and field team quickly wiped out the United States' eight-point first-day lead and surged to a 197-181 dual-meet victory today.
The U.S. men won six of 10 events for a 125-97 margin, but it was not enough to overcome the 100-56 romp enjoyed by the East German women, who won all six events contested today and 12 of 15 in the competition.
The Germans posted one-two sweeps in the 20-kilometer walk and hammer throw, the first two events on today's schedule, and went ahead to stay in the combined standings. The hammer produced the only national records of the day, as Ralf Haber won with an East German mark of 259 feet 3 inches, and third-place Dave McKenzie increased his U.S. standard six inches to 244-5.
Actually, the eight-point margin of Saturday was reduced retroactively long after the meet ended; Ellen Fiedler, the disqualified winner of the 400-meter hurdles Saturday, was reinstated on appeal.
There was a similar end to another controversial incident in the women's 3,000 meters today. The two U.S. runners, Maggie Keyes and Brenda Webb, ran side by side much of the race, with the East Germans close behind. On the backstretch of the final lap, Gabriele Meinel got too close and stepped on Webb's foot, knocking her out of contention.
Ulrike Bruns and Meinel raced past Keyes for a one-two German sweep. However, Meinel was disqualified for the foul and, with the Germans appealing the ruling, Bruns did not appear for the victory ceremony. After the meet, that also was reversed, with Meinel restored to second place.
The keys to the visitors' eventual success were the two 800-meter races. Antje Schroeder won the women's event in 1:58.93, closely followed by Christine Wachtel, who turned 18 this month, in a world junior record of 1:59.40. On the men's side, Detlef Wagenknecht posted a front-running victory over David Patrick in 1:46.08 and Hans-Joachim Mogalle took third place from David Mack.
Each East German winner found himself greeted by happy teammates. Even hurdler Thomas Munkelt, edging Willie Gault for second place far behind winner Greg Foster, was offered enthusiastic congratulations.
"They got the momentum going and we never were able to turn it around," said the U.S. coach, Harry Groves of Penn State. "Our kids can show team spirit, too, but we have to get a roll going. The big problem is that some of these kids have never been in a scoring meet until today. Everything they see is qualifying by time, height or distance. I'd love to see us rearrange the trials and come in here with everybody."
Three times the U.S. managed one-two finishes today--Dwight Stones and Leo Williams in the high jump, Jason Grimes and Ralph Spry in the long jump, and Larry Myricks and Calvin Smith in the 200.
John Powell took the discus at 218-4, but Ben Plucknett was a disappointing fourth as only three feet separated the four contestants.
Foster won the 110 hurdles in 13.20 and the U.S. men gained a surprisingly close 4x400-meter relay victory in 3:02.46, with Sunder Nix holding off the charging German anchor, Thomas Schoenlebe.
Otherwise, it was an East German picnic.
Barbel Woeckel, two-time Olympic titlist at 200 meters, rallied past Chandra Cheeseborough in 22.52, Kerstin Knabe led a one-two German finish in the 100-meter hurdles in 12.74 and world record-holder Ilona Slupianek won the shot put at 71-6 3/4.
Sabine Busch's 50.5 anchor turned a close 4x400 relay into a 30-meter romp in 3:24.89, after a sensational 50.8 second leg by Roberta Belle, a Morgan State graduate, had raised the hopes of the 16,113 spectators. The East Germans ran without Marita Koch, the world record holder at 400 meters, who injured a tendon in her right leg while warming up.
It was a day of mixed feelings for the Washington, D.C. area contingent of four. Williams, the recent Naval Academy graduate, and Spry, the NCAA champion from Mississippi out of Old Mill High in Severna Park, Md., were reasonably happy with their second-place finishes.
Robin Campbell, the Washington native who beat the Soviets as a 15-year-old in 1974, led the women's 800 until the homestretch, when the two East Germans raced past. For Benita Fitzgerald, the NCAA champion from Tennessee and Dale City, Va., there was no redeeming quality except "experience" for her last-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles.
Spry jumped 25-11 1/2 today, beating third-place Frank Novak of East Germany by three-quarters of an inch. Grimes won at 26-4 1/4.
"I was too pumped up and I pressed too hard," said Fitzgerald.
The most exciting race of the day came in the International Summer Games, a companion to the dual, as Alberto Juantorena of Cuba outleaned William Wuyke of Venezuela to win the 800 meters in 1:45.82, with Johnny Gray a step back in third. Ray Brown of Virginia finished fourth in 1:46.99.
Other winners of note included Gennady Belkov of the Soviet Union, a straddler who cleared 7-6 1/2 in the high jump; Luis Delis of Cuba, 222-11 in the discus; Jeff Phillips, 20.51 in the 200, and Joetta Clark, 2:02.47 in the women's 800.