Valerie Brisco-Hooks may have to share the U.S. indoor best in the women's 400-meter race with Diane Dixon.
Brisco-Hooks was given credit for the mark Feb. 9 as winner of the 400 in 52.63 seconds to 52.64 for Dixon in the U.S. Olympic Invitational at East Rutherford, N.J. Two days later, Dixon's coach, Fred Thompson, produced a photo finish of the race at the Metropolitan Track Writers' luncheon, claiming the event should be declared at worst (for Dixon) a dead heat.
Yesterday, at the track writers' weekly gathering, Bob Hersh, who scores the Mobil Indoor Grand Prix for The Athletics Congress, said the chief photo finish reader at the Olympic Invitational had received a clearer print, had reread the picture and determined that it should be a dead heat. Both runners will be credited with times of 52.63.
Approval is awaited from Heliodoro Rico, the meet referee. Brisco-Hooks stands to lose two points in the Grand Prix standings and her share of the lucrative women's Grand Prix lead with middle-distance runner Diana Richburg. One meet remains on the Grand Prix schedule, Friday's USA-Mobil Indoor Championships at Madison Square Garden.
"To me, the pictures are invalid," said Brisco-Hooks. "I clearly won by the judge on the day of the meet . . . I'm going to protest.''