Arkansas hogged the spotlight in the 91st Penn Relays today. The Razorbacks took three more relay championships, two in record time, and carried home the trophies for half of the eight major events.
For added domination, Arkansas graduate Frank O'Mara sprinted from far back to win the Jumbo Elliott Mile in 3:58.0 and current Razorback Bill Jasenski won the high jump on fewer misses over Darren Burton of Nebraska as both set a meet record of 7 feet 5 1/4 inches.
For extra effort, though, no one could top sophomore Ray Humphrey of Georgetown, who exceeded his personal best by 11 inches on his final attempt to win the triple jump by three-quarters of an inch at 53-6 1/4.
The Hoyas came close in the 4x800-meter relay, placing second as Penn State set a meet record of 7:11.11 with anchorman Randy Moore clocking 1:45.5, fastest 800 split in Penn Relays history. George Mason also earned a silver medal, behind Arkansas' collegiate-record 14:50.2 in the 4x1,500 meters.
Auburn (4x400 in 3:02.79), Seton Hall (sprint medley in 3:14.50) and Florida (shuttle hurdles in 57.15) were other major relay winners as Villanova, which once ruled this carnival, was limited to cheering for its women's 4x800 triumph.
Arkansas, winner of the distance medley Friday, got off to a solid start today when it sliced 2.6 seconds off Villanova's collegiate record in posting history's sixth best time for the 4x1,500.
The only contest was for second, with Abdi Bile's 3:41.9 anchor giving the silver to George Mason. Arkansas' second, third and fourth runners had the three fastest times: Gary Taylor 3:38.6, David Swain 3:41.6 and Paul Donovan 3:41.2.
The same quartet of Fred Cleary, Roddie Haley, Mike Conley and Wallace Spearman captured both the 4x100 and 4x200. The time for the shorter distance, 39.89, did not approach the Razorbacks' meet-record 39.47 of Friday, but their task was eased when eventual runner-up Odessa Junior College mishandled the first handoff and contending North Carolina State dropped the baton on the final exchange.
In the 4x200, Arkansas set a meet record of 1:20.9 despite a poor first pass from Cleary to Haley. Haley, a freshman, made up for the lapse with a burst of speed that left the opposition beaten at the halfway point.
John Tillman of Tennessee appeared to have the triple jump locked up when he leaped 53-5 1/2 on his fifth attempt. But Humphrey, who won the long jump Friday and seemed destined for third today at 51-9 1/2, pulled it out on his last try.
"I just thought, 'Jump, Ray, jump,' " Humphrey said. "Most of my jumps I'd done something wrong, so the last time I just concentrated on getting up at the end of the jump. I think I'll do that more often.
"The competition helped me today. I haven't been doing very well in the triple jump and I just wanted 51 or 52 here, but there were a lot of 52s out there and I kind of snuck in. I'm really happy about this, because I came here as a senior in high school looking for a watch and it didn't happen."
Humphrey's winning jump was aided slightly by a wind of 5.6 miles per hour, just above the 4.47 allowable for record purposes.
The men's 4x800 was strictly a Penn State-Georgetown duel. Vance Watson put the Nittany Lions in front on the opening leg and they fought off repeated challenges by the Hoyas, whose runner-up time was a highly creditable 7:13.15.
Kevin King of Georgetown moved ahead of State's Chris Mills on the third leg, but he could not maintain it and Mills gave Randy Moore a 12-meter margin at the final pass. Hoya Miles Irish closed most of the deficit before Moore pulled away in the stretch to win by 20. Irish's 1:47.2 was the second best split of the day.
The women's invitational mile produced an exciting finish, as Georgetown graduate Chris Gregorek nipped Harvard's Darlene Beckford with both timed in 4:33.5. Gregorek passed Beckford in the stretch, but Beckford battled back and it took the photo to separate them.
Virginia took a 30-meter lead at the midpoint of the women's 4x800, with Gail Bryant running a superb 2:04.1 second leg. Joanne Kehs got it all back and more on the third 800 for Villanova, however, and the Wildcats won in 8:27.57, with Veronica McIntosh anchoring in 2:03.6. Virginia wound up fourth.
No school won more than one women's relay title. Texas took the 4x400 over Louisiana State, which had won the 4x100 Friday. Michigan won the distance medley Thursday.
Both individual hurdles events produced upsets in close finishes. In the women's 100-meter race, Olympic champion Benita Fitzgerald Brown of Dale City, Va., was caught in the blocks and could not catch LaVonna Martin, who won in 13.10. Martin is a freshman at Tennessee, Brown's alma mater.
Missouri graduate Albert Lane set a meet record of 13.69 as he edged Jack Pierce, formerly of Morgan State, in the men's 110 hurdles.
Camperdown of Jamaica set a Penn Relays record in the high school 4x400, holding off Bethel of Hampton, Va., in 3:11.49. Mark Rainey anchored Bethel in 46.5.
In other high school championships, Jamaica College High won the 4x100 in 41.05 and Prospect Heights of Brooklyn won the 4x800 in 7:41.7.
Largo had the best D.C.-area time, 3:19.7, in the 4x400. Other good clockings included Central 3:20.6, Eleanor Roosevelt 3:20.9, H.D. Woodson 3:22.6, Howard County 3:23.2 and Forestville 3:24.2.
Central never was a factor in the 4x800 final, after qualifying in 7:51.8, the only D.C.-area school to do so. Among the sub-8 times were H.D. Woodson 7:54.1, Anacostia 7:55.7, W.T. Woodson 7:57.9 and Broadneck 7:59.6.