SAN JOSE, CALIF., JUNE 23 -- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the only athlete to surpass 7,000 points in the heptathlon, was just 15 points short of the world record pace after four events today in the USA-Mobil Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Joyner-Kersee, who twice broke the world record last year, accumulating 7,148 points at the Goodwill Games in Moscow in July and 7,158 at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Houston in August, had 4,130 points after the 100-meter high hurdles, the high jump, the shot put and the 200-meter dash.
In Houston, she had 4,145 points after those four events.
Before this meet, the 99th national championships, she said she hoped to run 12.70 seconds in the hurdles, clear 6-1 1/4 in the high jump, go 52-6 in the shot put and run 22.80 in the 200.
She didn't reach any of those goals, being timed in 12.90 in the hurdles, high-jumping 6-0 3/4, sending the shot 49-9 1/2 and running 23.02 in the 200.
Her coach and husband, Bob Kersee, said the key event would be the long jump, Wednesday's first event.
"If she goes 23 feet or better in the long jump, she'll break the record," Kersee said. "If not, she won't."
Joyner-Kersee is the U.S. record-holder in the long jump at 23-9. Her best jump in heptathlon competition is 23-0 3/4. She has bests of 164-5 in the javelin and 2:09.32 in the 800.
Joyner-Kersee missed three times in her bid to equal her personal best of 6-2 in the high jump, coming close on one attempt.
Kersee said his wife and the other heptathletes had to fight a strong wind in the high jump.
Joyner-Kersee held a 288-point lead over Cindy Greiner in second place. Jane Frederick, winner of nine national heptathlon titles, was third with 3,830 points.
In the decathlon, the leader after the first five events -- the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meters -- was Tim Bright, formerly of Abilene Christian, with 4,277 points.
Bright held only a 13-point advantage over Sheldon Blockburger of Louisiana State. Rob Muzzio, the two-time NCAA champion from George Mason, was third with 4,236 points, 1987 NCAA champion Jim Connolly was sixth with 4,089 points and defending champion Dave Johnson was 13th with 3,794.
Bright's best event was the high jump, in which he cleared 6-11.
The decathlon will be completed Wednesday with the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500.