It was a day of medals and mishaps for Olympians at the National Sports Festival.
World record holder Willie Banks and Olympic gold medal winner Al Joyner were upset in the triple jump, settling for the silver and bronze, respectively.
Olympic silver medalist Jackie Joyner won the gold medal in the heptathlon at Southern University's A.W. Mumford Stadium tonight.
Olympic bronze medalist Brian Boitano and up-and-coming Debi Thomas, the two favored figure skaters, had nearly flawless long programs to win the gold medals at the Baton Rouge Centroplex.
And Olympic double gold medalist Greg Louganis avoided an upset, coming from third place to take the men's platform diving.
Charles Simpkins of Charleston, S.C., the third-ranked American this season, won the triple jump with a leap of 56-11 1/4. Banks was second at 56-1 3/4, and Al Joyner was third with a 55-8 1/4 effort.
Banks is suffering from a slight injury to his left leg. "I'm not trying to do 59 feet every time," he said. "I'm just trying to get over a leg injury and be patient about it."
Simpkins had jumped against Banks at The Athletic Congress' meet earlier this season when the world record of 58-11 1/2 was set. "Willie Banks has been my idol since I began triple jumping," Simpkins said. "I finally beat him. Wow. Every time I've jumped against him, I thought Willie Banks was going to have to do something special to beat me."
Jackie Joyner won the gold in the heptathlon by finishing first or in a tie for first in all seven events for a total of 6,718 points, a personal, meet and college record.
But Joyner, a two-time NCAA champion from UCLA, was not as close to Jane Frederick's U.S. mark of 6,803 as officials originally calculated. Using an invalid scoring table, the record held by Frederick was thought to be 6,714. Joyner was thought to have set the U.S. first-day mark with a total of 3,942. Instead, she trailed Frederick's first-day mark of 4,011, according to the revised 1985 scoring tables.
Joyner set meet records for all events except the 200 meters. In the final event, the 800, she still had a chance at the record. But she needed a time of 2:05, four seconds faster than her personal best. Instead, she finished first in 2:11.46, a meet-record time.
"I came in saying I wanted to put it all together," Joyner said. "I had done it before individually, but never all at once. I was going for it, but I can't be displeased. Records are for motivation and to push for. Who's to say I won't get it next time?"
Olympic silver medalist Alice Brown won the 100 meters in 11.07 but was unhappy with her time. Dawn Sowell of Richmond was second in 11.20, followed by Kathrene Wallace of Houston in 11.43.
"I thought my race would be better," Brown said. "I'm disappointed at my time because I had been running better in practice. I was too tight and running too tall."
Kirk Baptiste, Olympic silver medalist in the men's 200 meters, won the 100 in 10.20. He was followed by Mike Morris of Syracuse, N.Y., in 10.24 and Lee McNeill of St. Pauls, N.C., in 10.26.
Two perfect scores and two standing ovations were awarded in the figure skating. One perfect mark went to Boitano, who received the first 6.0 of his career to win the men's gold. Thomas claimed the women's medal, getting one of the standing ovations.
One skater received a standing ovation and a perfect score. Shockingly talented Chris Bowman made Boitano's gold medal uncertain by winning the silver with a performance that brought most of a crowd of 1,600 to its feet, and gave him a 6.0 for style and composition.
Thomas' gold medal was her first in a major U.S. competition, although she is ranked second in the nation and finished fifth at the World Championships. A flawless long program with four triple jumps gave her a slim margin over silver medalist Caryn Kadavy of Erie, Pa. Leslie Sikes of Haverford, Pa., won the bronze.
Leaping ability and the school figures are Boitano's strengths, rather than style and presentation. The national champion had large leads after both the figures and short program. But he needed a consistent performance to win the gold after Bowman's routine.
He went on to earn his first perfect score from a surprising source, the artistic marks. "There was a lot of pressure on me," Boitano said. "This was my first experience of going into a meet as national champion and having to follow someone who had scored a 6.0. I was thinking to myself, 'Hey, I've never gotten a 6.0 before and now he's got one.' "
Bowman's routine was a classical, balletic number that included seven triple jumps, and one flip wave at the television cameras after a leap. He was mauled at rink side by fans and at first did not realize his score.
"I thought, 'Oh my God, it's got to be a mistake,' " he said. "I was dumbfounded."
Thomas' long program included four clean triple jumps and earned her four scores of 5.8 for technical merit, and three of 5.9 for artistic presentation.
Louganis, who won the springboard competition Thursday, scored a total of 675.15 points, the third highest of his career, to beat Ron Meyer of River Ridge, Ill., with 608.07, and Mike Wantuck of Columbus, Ohio, with 585.75. Louganis' two medals set a Festival record for career medals with eight.
Louganis scored over 90 points on each of his last two dives to pull away from Meyer, who had come within five points going into the final round. But Meyer missed his final dive, a back 3 1/2 somersault, and watched Louganis score 91.80 out of 100 on his final attempt, an inward 3 1/2.