George Mason University -- with Abdi Abdi winning the 1,500 and 800 meters, and Rob Muzzio winning the decathlon -- won the IC4A team championship for the second time in three years today at Penn State. Mason won in 1983 and finished 12th last year.
George Mason was atop the team standings with 56 points, followed by Princeton, 54; Penn State, 49; and Georgetown, 46.
"Coming into this meet, no one expected us to win," said George Mason Coach John Cook. "We took a lot of heat for finishing 18th indoors this year. People were talking about me getting fired. Well, I don't think I'm going to get fired today."
The Patriots finished one-two in the the 800 meters, with Abdi winning in 1:47.65, followed by teammate and Somalia countryman Ibrahim Okash in 1:49.03. Abdi's winning time in the 1,500 was 3:44.26.
Muzzio, also the NCAA champion in the decathlon, successfully defended his IC4A title in that event, amassing 7,732 points and breaking his record of last year of 7,686. Muzzio also placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 164 feet.
Ray Humphrey of Georgetown joined Abdi as the meet's other double winner. After winning the long jump Saturday, Humphrey won the triple jump with a leap of 52-8 today.
Martin Booker of Villanova edged Georgetown's Pat Mann to win the 400-meter hurdles in 51.03. Mann's time was 51.43.
Booker later lost the high hurdle title to Boris Pendergrass of Rutgers by one one-hundredth of a second -- 13.78 to 13.79. Pendergrass, the 1984 IC4A champ and a wide receiver recently drafted by the NFL's Washington Redskins, led Booker by an inch over the final hurdle and out-leaned him at the tape. Pendergrass, who participated in the Redskins' minicamp all week, reached State College Saturday after flying from Washington to Philadelphia, waiting five hours for a connecting flight that took him to Pittsburgh, and another plane for the last leg of the trip.
Mason's Keith Young was fourth in the long jump in 25 feet- 3/4.
Mason's Mark Spenik was fourth in the pole vault, 16-4. Ahmed Ismail of Mason finished fourth in the 5,000 meters in 14.28.6. The Patriots were fifth in the 400-meter relay.
Georgetown's Kevin King was third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the Georgetown team was second to Villanova in the 1600-meter relay.
Penn State's David Coney, who high-jumped 7 feet, 3 1/2 inches only a week earlier at the same pit, failed to get over the starting height of 6-9 and thereby infuriated Nittany Lions Coach Harry Groves, who reasonably expected at least six points from the event. "I'm so mad right now I don't want to say anything," Groves said afterward. "Let's put it this way; anything I might say you couldn't print."
Boston University's Greg Gonsalves won the competition at 7-1.