Valery Sereda of the Soviet Union set a European record in winning the men's high jump and his countryman, Sergei Bubka, the world record holder in the pole vault, was upset in an international track and field meet last night in Rieti, Italy.

Sereda and Carlo Thranhardt of West Germany each cleared 7 feet 9 1/4 inches, but the Soviet jumper did it on his first attempt and Thranhardt on his third try.

In the women's high jump, world record holder Lyudmila Andonova of Bulgaria won at 6-8, the third-best ever.

Bubka, who set the world pole vault mark of 19-5 3/4 Friday night at Rome, finished second at 18-6 1/2, having cleared the same height as Alexander Krupsky of the Soviet Union and Earl Bell of the United States. Again, the places were decided on misses, with Krupsky first, Bubka second and Bell third.

Among the U.S. men winning were Johnny Gray in the 800 meters in 1:43.59, Tonie Campbell in the 110 high hurdles in 13.39, Kirk Baptiste in the 200 in 20.35, Walter McCoy in the 400 in 45.26 and Larry Myricks in the long jump at 27-3 1/4.

World record holder Jarmila Kratochvilova of Czechoslovakia beat Olympic gold medalist Valerie Brisco-Hooks of the United States in the women's 400 meters. Kratochvilova was timed in 49.02; Brisco-Hooks was second in 50.58 . . .

Charles Polhamus of Fitzgerald, Ga., and Ray Gordon of Front Royal, Va., narrowly missed national single-age records at the ninth annual Potomac Valley Masters Track and Field Games at George Mason University.

Polhamus, 41, just brushed the bar on his third attempt at 14-9 1/2, which would have broken the U.S. pole-vault record of 14-8 for men age 41.

Gordon, 66, missed breaking his own national single-age record in the 400 meters by .2, winning in 62.6.