With all his competition except for brother Vasili dropping away quickly, Soviet Sergei Bubka tonight raised his world indoor record in the pole vault to 19 feet 6 1/4 inches at the TAC/USA/Mobil Indoor Track and Field Championships. The former record was 19-5 3/4.
The second try was the charm for Sergei Bubka, who also needed two attempts to achieve his earlier clearances at 18-8 1/4 and 19-2 1/4. Vasili Bubka cleared 18-10 1/4 for second place, but for Joe Dial and Billy Olson, each of whom held the indoor mark this winter (all indoor world records are unofficial), it was a night to forget.
Dial cleared 18-0 1/2, then failed in three tries at 18-8 1/4, with the bar wobbling a long time before it fell on his last attempt. Olson got halfway up on his third sprint down the runway at 18-4 1/2, then left to boos from the crowd of 15,106.
Olson said his night was ruined by nosebleeds and sinus problems, which he attributed to dry heat in his hotel room. He limped off the infield, but said he did not hurt his left hamstring until he landed on his last half-hearted try.
Sergei Bubka's effort was only two inches shy of his world outdoor record.
In the women's two-mile run Princeton graduate Lynn Jennings sliced 3 1/2 seconds off Mary Slaney's three-year-old world mark with a time of 9:28.15. Jennings, 25, overhauled Cindy Bremser with a last-lap sprint that brought the crowd to its feet. Bremser, 9:28.29, also was well under Slaney's record. Slaney, who is pregnant, is not competing this indoor season.
"I knew I had it in me," said Jennings, a leading contender in the World Cross-Country Championships in March. "Pardon the expression, but I put the pedal to the metal."
East German athletes competed in the TAC/USA/Mobil meet for the first time and one of that nation's all-time greats, Marita Koch, marked the occasion by setting a world indoor record of 22.89 for 220 yards.
Koch survived a lengthy introduction that detailed her past exploits, then surged ahead of long-legged Grace Jackson to add a record to those she already held -- 200 and 400 meters outdoors and 60, 100 and 200 meters and 100 yards indoors.
"It was just luck," Koch said. "It was difficult around the turns and we did a lot of braking."
On her first attempt in the first event of the day, another East German great, Heike Drechsler, recorded the best indoor long jump by a woman in the United States, 23-0 3/4.
That performance stood up as the winner, but not by much. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, whose 22-5 last week was the standard Drechsler eclipsed, bettered that figure three times in her six-jump series and finished second with a U.S. indoor record of 22-10 1/2.
"This lane board runway is different than in Europe," Drechsler said. "It isn't so easy. In Europe, we jump on Tartan. But overall I am satisfied. I've competed a lot in the last month today was her sixth meet and now Heike can get some sleep."
Sigrun Ludwigs won the 880 in 2:05.93, but three other highly regarded East German women -- Marlies Goehr, Kerstin Knabe and Sabine Busch -- were less successful.
Goehr was left in the blocks in the 60-yard dash as Jeanette Bolden benefited from a superb start to win in 6.57 seconds. Goehr showed tremendous acceleration over the last 20 yards to nip Alice Brown for second in 6.62.
Stephanie Hightower took the 60-yard hurdles for the fifth time in 7.44, holding off Knabe in a tight finish.
Diane Dixon, the overall leader in the women's Grand Prix standings, won the 440 for the fifth time in 52.52, but she was given a battle to the finish by Busch, the world record holder in the 400-meter hurdles outdoors. Dixon earned $12,700 this winter.
Jimmy Howard carried off the men's overall Grand Prix prize of $10,000 for the second straight year, winning the high jump at 7-8.
Lee McRae of Pittsburgh took advantage of a swift start to hand Canadian Ben Johnson his first defeat of the indoor campaign in the 60-yard dash. McRae was timed in 6.06 seconds, a personal best and a mere four-hundredths of a second off absent Carl Lewis' world indoor record.
"All the U.S. runners wanted to welcome Ben Johnson to the United States," McRae said. "It seems that a lot of time he just shoots for Carl Lewis and we wanted to show him there's more to worry about here than Carl Lewis. We're tired of running in Carl Lewis' shadow."
Canada did win two titles as Debbie Brill won the women's high jump at 6-5 1/2 and Mark McKoy captured the 60-yard hurdles in 6.95. McKoy was out so fast that he was better than a stride in front of the field coming off the first of the five hurdles. Greg Foster withdrew after straining his right hamstring in an afternoon semifinal.
Mike Conley pulled out men's long-jump honors on his final attempt, going 27-1 3/4 to sweep the horizontal jumps.
Larry Myricks, a four-time champion, led after five rounds with 26-8 1/2. Then, after Conley moved in front, Myricks gave it a good effort on his last jump, with 26-11.
Earlier, Conley retained his title in the triple jump with a leap of 56-10 3/4. It was a bad week for Charlie Simpkins, the runner-up at 56-0 1/2. His world indoor record (57-5) was eclipsed Sunday by Soviet Maris Bruziks, who went 57-6 1/2.
Johnny Gray won the 1,000-yard event in a meet-record 2:04.52, missing his own world mark by 13 hundredths of a second. John Marshall was second in 2:04.87 and Virginia graduate Ray Brown was third in 2:06.18.
Antonio McKay, last as the four-man field entered the gun lap, pulled out the 440 in a meet-record 47.60, with Walter McCoy second and East German Thomas Schonlebe third.
Jim Heiring broke his own world indoor record in the two-mile walk with a time of 12:05.94 as he won the event for the fourth time.
Teresa Vaill set a U.S. indoor record of 6:53.58 in winning the women's mile walk for the third straight year.