The Georgetown men's 3,200-meter relay team set a U.S. record tonight, yet failed to hold off Arkansas and finished second in the finals of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The Georgetown anchor, Miles Irish, inherited second place and quickly took the lead. Coming out of the final turn, he was still slightly ahead, but Paul Donovan nicked him by .06 of a second. Because Donovan -- who also won the individual 3,000 -- is from Ireland and Wayne Moncrieffe a Razorback from Canada, Arkansas' 7:20.72 is not the U.S. record.

"It was a race of attrition," Irish said. "I was just hoping my lead was enough."

Georgetown's time in the preliminaries had been five seconds faster than Arkansas', and Irish said he thought that had an effect in the final. "We were all a little tired," he said, adding he felt his legs tie up in the final turn.

The Villanova women's 3,200 relay team lost its 1985 title and record, placing second to Florida's U.S.-record 8:31.74. Virginia was third.

Maryland's William Skinner took fifth place in the men's 55-meter hurdles. His time was 7.34, to 7.22 for winner Tom Wilcher of Michigan.

Wendy Brown of Southern California set a U.S. indoor record in the women's triple jump, twice going 44 feet 3 1/4 inches. She bettered the 43-9 3/4 set by Terri Turner in 1985. The world indoor best in the event is 44-6 3/4, by Galina Chistyakova of the Soviet Union.

Virginia's Michelle Johnson was eliminated in the preliminaries of the women's 55-meter hurdles. Her time was 8.25.