DURHAM, N.C., JUNE 1 -- In the first event of the first full day of finals at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, the top seed in the decathlon pulled up in the 100 meters and dropped out of the competition, leaving the door to an NCAA title open for former Annapolis High School hurdler Bruce Reid of Louisiana State.
As the day's events progressed, a hot topic of conversation was George Mason. So far nearly every Patriot has advanced to the finals, making the school a threat for the team title. Tony Barton advanced in the high jump, Eugene Korenteng advanced in the triple jump, Patrick O'Connor advanced in the 400 and the 4x400 relay team is seeded second in the finals.
"People think Mason had one great star, Abdi Bile," said O'Connor. "After he left people forgot George Mason. If I go out and run well, people will know that people on the East Coast can run well."
Istvan Bayula of George Mason followed up his indoor NCAA pole vault title with the outdoor one, winning at 18 feet 4 1/2 inches, four inches above Kelly Riley of Arkansas State University.
After eight events, LSU leads the men's meet with 33 points, followed by Florida with 28 1/2 and Alabama with 16. On the women's side, Wisconsin-Madison is first with 24, followed by Villanova (20) and Indiana and Tennessee (17 each).
The best race was between Suzy Favor of Wisconsin and Meredith Rainey of Harvard in the 800 meters. Rainey wilted down the backstretch to finish third. Favor's 1:59.11 is a world best.
The world record holder in the javelin, Patrik Boden of Sweden and the University of Texas, won easily despite a nagging shoulder injury. His throws fell far below his world record of 292-4 and his best was a 261-10, outdistancing Vince Labosky of Kansas by more than four feet.
In the decathlon, Pedro daSilva, a junior from Oregon, was the favorite, returning from two years of injuries. But his comeback and his leg went bad in the first 10 meters of the 100 when he aggravated a month-old hamstring injury.
At first Reid seemed to falter under the new burden of being the favorite. Without daSilva in the 100, Reid ran slower than usual, costing him 100 points. He caught up a little in the long jump. By the third event, the shot put, he was leading by nearly 300 points with 2,659, two points ahead of his previous best pace. At the end of the first day's competition, he had 4,132 points and an eight-point lead.
Former Gonzaga hurdler Steve Brown of Wake Forest advanced in the 110-meter hurdles. Dana Boone of Virginia and Lake Braddock High finished second in the women's long jump (20-7), won by UCLA's Sheila Hudson in 22-1. Arizona's Lynda Tolbert advanced in the 100-meter hurdles.
Mark Everett of the University of Florida set a meet record in the 800 (1:44.70), and in advancing in the 200 Michael Johnson of Baylor ran 20.18, best in the world this year. Collegiate season bests were turned in by Maicel Malone of Arizona State with a 51.26 in the 400 meters and by Leroy Burrell of Houston, who ran the 100 meters in 10.03.