SAN JOSE, CALIF., JUNE 26 -- There were four performances beyond 28 feet today in the long-jump competition at the 112th USA/Mobil Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Only one belonged to Carl Lewis.

That was the winner, however, as Lewis extended his string of long-jump successes to 50 with a leap of 28-4 1/2. He prevailed over Larry Myricks and Mike Conley as three men topped 28 feet in one meet for the first time.

It started out deadly dull. Lewis, complaining of a funny feeling in his left knee, went 27-8 3/4 on his first attempt, then elected to sit on it in a repeat of the 1984 Olympic decision that angered so many ticket buyers in Los Angeles.

There were no boos today, but Lewis was spurred back into action by Myricks, the man who has been No. 2 during so much of Lewis' winning streak. Myricks leaped 27-11 on his fourth try to take a brief lead.

Lewis, who had passed twice, responded immediately with his eventual winner. He was so certain it was a big one that he never glanced at the officials measuring it, but merely jogged away.

More fireworks were coming, however. On his fifth attempt, Myricks jumped 28-0 3/4, a figure matched by Conley on his sixth and final try. Although Myricks was assured of second place because of his second-best jump, he made a vain bid for victory with a closing effort of 28-3 3/4, a personal best.

Lewis elected to take his fifth attempt despite his lead, but he pulled up short on the landing and showed a bit of vanity by racing back through the pit to effect a deliberate foul when he saw officials measuring the 24-footer. Lewis, the last jumper in the field, passed his sixth attempt with victory assured.

Lewis, because of his commitment to the 200 meters later today, did not talk to the media after the long jump, but his coach, Tom Tellez, said, "Carl's left knee was tight after he landed a little funny on it yesterday {in the trials}. It's nothing serious, but there may be some swelling on the inside and we decided he would not extend himself unless he had to.

"After Myricks jumped, the adrenalin got going. Carl needs that. It's great to see that kind of competition. That's the way it should be. The last time I've seen Carl with that kind of feeling was indoors in New York {in 1984}, when he jumped 28-10 to win after Myricks went ahead."

If the knee made Lewis extra cautious while jumping, it did not appear to cause any difficulty in the semifinals of the 200, as Lewis won his heat cruising in a wind-aided 20.11. The final was scheduled later tonight and Lewis was hopeful of completing a triple in the 100 meters on Saturday.

Myricks' jump of 28-3 3/4 matched Conley's runner-up mark behind Lewis in this meet a year ago, as nobody else has gone farther and lost. Conley benefited from an aiding wind in that one, while Myricks' best jump today -- and Lewis' winner -- were within the allowable limit of 4.47 mph.

Asked about his seeming destiny as a bridesmaid, Myricks said, "I'm not frustrated. I jumped well and I'm really pleased. Carl was having knee problems or he might have gone farther. If I had another jump, I would have gone farther.

"Win or lose, that's elementary. I want to see improvement. The only thing I care about is jumping far. I don't place everything on beating Carl."

Conley, who has concentrated on the triple jump this year, said, "I came into the competition just wanting to make the team. But once you get out there, you get hung up in the competition. We all certainly got hung up in it today."

The crowd obviously was rooting harder for Myricks and Conley, while treating Lewis with awe. Of that situation, Conley said, "America loves the underdog. Carl is probably the best long jumper of all time, but they like to see somebody challenge him.

"It's a dead event for the spectators if Carl puts out a big jump and nobody challenges him. As it was, Larry put everybody on the edge of their seats. It came early enough to get things going."

Myricks promised that the event will heat up through the summer as he, Lewis and Conley prepare for a world championships confrontation with Robert Emmiyan, who recently leaped 29-1 at high altitude in the Soviet Union. Bob Beamon set the world mark of 29-2 1/2 in 1968.

"With the whole summer ahead, I know I'll get better," Myricks said. "I've known I've been ready since I went to Japan in March and jumped well. I'm skeptical about Emmiyan. People who saw his jump on film said it was the shortest 29-footer they ever saw. He'll make me a believer if he does it in Rome."

When Myricks became the world indoor champion with a 27-footer in March, Emmiyan came in fourth at 26-3.

The long jump was one of 13 finals scheduled today, eight of them in women's events.

Greg Foster earned his fourth national championship in the 110-meter high hurdles. Tonie Campbell, who won the world indoor title when Foster took a tumble, was a mishap victim himself today, crashing over the ninth hurdle and failing to qualify for the world championships.

LaVonna Martin won the women's 100-meter hurdles in 12.80, missing the U.S. record of Stephanie Hightower, who was second today, by one-hundredth of a second. Sophia Hunter placed third, Benita Brown fifth.

The first four finishers in the women's 10-kilometer walk bettered the U.S. record, with Maryanne Torrellas winning in 47:23.8. That cut 1 minute 53 seconds off the mark she established in 1985.

Mike Pascuzzo and Jerome Carter cleared 7-4 1/4 to qualify for Saturday's final in the high jump. Leo Williams missed at that height and was eliminated. Dwight Stones, a six-time national champion, also went out, unable to top 7-3.

In the only title decided Thursday, Lynn Jennings won the women's 10,000 meters in 32:19.15.