DURHAM, N.C., JULY 24 -- About 4 p.m., Valerie Brisco decided she would go for a run tonight. Evelyn Ashford's bum foot meant a spot was open in the women's 200 meters. So in stepped Brisco, who ran away from the field en route to a gold medal and a U.S. Olympic Festival record time of 22.28 seconds..

She had set the previous mark of 22.57 in 1985, when she was Valerie Brisco-Hooks. A year earlier, Brisco set the U.S. record of 21.81 while winning the gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympics, where she also took the gold in the 400 meters.

"I ran because this was a good track and good weather," said Brisco, who earlier said it was too hot.

As for the time, she said, "I'll take it. But I didn't run the type of race I wanted. I wanted to run under 22 {seconds}."

Brisco may have been dissatisfied with the time, but she pulled away from the others quickly, making up her only stagger before leaving the turn. Danette Young was the only other runner to break 23 seconds, taking the silver in 22.96. Randy Givens, who finished sixth at the '84 Olympics, was third and Baltimore's Rochelle Stevens was fourth.

Brisco said it was her first 200-meter race since last August. She finished fourth at the TAC meet in the 400 and failed to qualify for the Pan American Games. She will next compete in London Aug. 14.

"I'm ready to go overseas," Brisco said. "I'm tired of training."

Lattanya Sheffield of El Cajon, Calif., won the women's 400-meter hurdles in 55.63. Kellie Roberts of District Heights, Md., who has been the No. 1-ranked high school runner for the past two years, led at the first hurdle and finished sixth.

"Running with the big girls, if you will, is good experience for me," said Roberts, who will be a freshman at Texas this fall. She is a bit troubled, however, by her lack of improvement since last year's Festival.

"I can't really see any improvement and that's discouraging," she said. "I know I'm physically stronger."

Jim Hill, who lived in Vienna, Va., before attending the University of Oregon, won the men's 10,000 meters in 29:06.61.

"I wanted to run my race, and that is to sit back and run at my own pace," Hill said, "and then kick like crazy at the end."

In a competition fraught with head spills, belly-flops and lead changes, Robin Richter of Lincoln, Neb., hung on to a .05 of a point lead through the final two rounds of the women's artistic gymnastics tournament to win with 38.3 points.

Danna Lister, who was on the 1986 East team that shared gold-medal honors with the South in team competition, went from second to first place, then dropped to fourth before scoring a 9.65 on the uneven bars to pass Juliet Bangerter and Sunja Knapp for second with 38.150 points.

Knapp bobbled her balance beam routine in the final round, scoring 9.55 and dropped to second with 37.9.

Richter, 15, is an inconsistent performer, only finishing 22nd all-around in this year's 1987 McDonald's Championships.

Tonight, she began at sixth in the vault (9.4), moved to fourth place after the uneven bars (9.55) and took the lead after scoring 9.7 on the balance beam and held on for the gold with a 9.65 on the floor exercise.

Joyce Wilborn, who finished second in the national championships in the vault, opened with a 9.85 in the vault and the lead. Then she dropped to 15th after falling twice off the uneven bars. Rebounding to ninth after the balance beam, she earned the highest score of the night, a 9.9 on the floor exercise, finishing fourth overall (37.80).