BATON ROUGE, LA., JUNE 6 -- George Mason University junior Abdi Bile won the 1,500 meters at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships tonight in 3:35.79 -- the fastest time in the world this year and second-fastest NCAA time to the 3:35.33 of Sydney Maree in 1981.
UCLA won the 1987 men's title by a record margin and Louisiana State took the women's title in a controversial finish.
Before Bile's race, George Mason Coach John Cook was concerned that the other runners would try to slow the pace and "diddle around and have everyone run for second place."
Cook's fears were quickly proven unnecessary as Bile's competition took it out fast, the leaders covering the first 400 meters in 57 seconds. Villanova's Gerry O'Reilly grabbed the lead halfway through, and the time after 1,200 meters was 2:58.
Bile, last after 800 meters, moved through the pack on the outside. By the bell lap, he was in position to take over. A great race for 1,200 meters turned into an exhibition, as Bile ran 53.8 in the final 400 to win by three seconds.
"The pace was real fast; I could feel it," Bile said. "But I felt very comfortable and was in a good rhythm throughout. I'm very happy . . . especially with the world championships coming up in September."
In the men's 400 meters, Butch Reynolds of Ohio State pulled away in the final 60 meters to win in 44.12 seconds, an NCAA meet record and the fifth-fastest time ever in the event. The meet also featured a world best in the women's triple jump, sophomore Sheila Hudson of California going 45 feet 2 1/2 inches, and a collegiate record of 3:00.55 in the men's 1,600-meter relay by UCLA.
UCLA's winning margin of 53 points, over runner-up Texas' 28, was the largest in meet history. Texas Christian had 27 points, Arkansas 26 and LSU 25.
Among the women, LSU totaled 62 points to 53 for Alabama and 51 for third-place Southern California.
Alabama appeared to have won the title after finishing first in the 1,600 relay, the final running event. But the Crimson Tide was disqualified for passing out of the zone on the second exchange, costing it 10 points, and LSU, which had finished fourth, was moved to third, collecting six points instead of five. It is the first outdoor title for LSU, which won the indoor in March.
Reynolds and Arkansas' Roddie Haley were neck-and-neck going into the final 100 meters of the 400. Haley faded to third behind Danny Everett, who came back to anchor UCLA's record 1,600 relay.
Other men's winners included: TCU's Raymond Stewart in the 100 in 10.14; Houston's Frank Rutherford, triple jump, 56-1; LSU's Eric Reid, 110 high hurdles, 13.51; Boston University's Dean Crowe, 5,000 in 13:43.40; Mississippi State's Garry Frank, shot put, 65-3 1/4; Washington State's Stefan Jonsson, hammer throw, 224-8, and Illinois State's Tom Smith, high jump, 7-5 3/4.
Georgia's Gwen Torrence scored the meet's only individual double, adding the 100, in 11.25, to her 200 title of Friday.
The other women's winners: Defending champion Lillie Leatherwood-King, Alabama, 400, meet-record 50.90; Tennessee's LaVonna Martin, 100 hurdles, 13.05; Wisconsin's Suzy Favor, 1,500 in 4:09.85, a meet record; Texas' Annie Schweitzer, 5,000 in 15:46.00; Houston's Jolanda Jones, the 1986 champion, heptathlon, 6,068 points; Southern Cal, 1,600 relay, 3:28.93; Washington State's Laura Lavine, discus, 184-2, and Abilene Christian's Mazel Thomas, high jump, 6-2 1/2.