DURHAM, N.C., JULY 25 -- Charlie Simpkins, who was third at The Athletics Congress meet in the triple jump, defeated Olympic champion Al Joyner and world-record holder Willie Banks to win the gold medal today at Wallace Wade Stadium.

In one of the most competitive track and field events at the U.S. Olympic Festival, Simpkins won with a jump of 56 feet 2 inches. Joyner's best jump was 56-1; Banks' was 55-3.

"The competition was extremely heavy with three of us here, but it makes for a better event," said Simpkins, who finished ahead of Joyner and behind Banks and winner Mike Conley at the TAC meet. "I guess I saved my best jump for last."

The women's 4x100-meter relay team set a Festival record with a time of 42.22. The team of Alice Brown, Diane Williams, Florence Griffith and Pam Marshall will return for the world championships in September, when they hope to challenge the East German team, which has run a world-record 41.37.

"I think we did really well given that it was our first meet together," said Williams, the 1987 TAC champion at 100 meters. "By the time we get to Rome {site of the world championships}, we should have it together to have a good chance to beat the East Germans and set a world record."

The South team won the men's 4x100-meter relay. The West team, which included world-record holder Calvin Smith and three-time Olympian Harvey Glance, finished fourth. The time of 38.37 was .40 off the world record of 37.83 set by the U.S. team at the 1984 Olympics.

The silver medal-winning North team included former Purdue defensive back Rod Woodson, who was a first-round draft pick by Pittsburgh.

Valerie Brisco won the 400 meters for her second Festival gold medal. The first came Friday in the 200 -- the same double she accomplished in the 1984 Olympics. Tonight, Brisco won the 400 in .50.

Michael Franks won the men's 400 in 45.11.

Darryl Henderson of Capitol Heights, Md., won the featherweight gold medal in the taekwondo competition in Raleigh. Henderson defeated Gerald Wynn of Decatur, Ill., to win his first Festival gold . . .

David St. Pierre of Los Angeles outscored the field on the high bar today, totaling 19.373 points to win the individual title in Durham. He also won the floor exercise, finished second on the parallel bars and third on the pommel horse.