SAN DIEGO — Whatever bright spots San Diego State had in the NCAA track and field championships at Austin, Tex., Saturday came from the women's team.
The Aztecs finished in ninth with 24 points, their highest finish ever. SDSU finished 10th three years ago. Renee Ross came in fifth in the 400-meter run with a time of 52.62 seconds. Liz Mueller was 10th in the javelin with a throw of 165-feet 9-inches.
SDSU's women failed to complete the 1,600-meter relay, when LaTanya Sheffield fell in the backstretch of the second leg and limped off the track. She was not seriously injured.
The San Diego State men didn't score a point. In contrast, Arkansas garnered 61 points to win the men's division. The Razorbacks are the only team other than Texas El Paso to win NCAA cross-country, indoor and outdoor meets in the same academic year. Washington State was second with 46 points and Baylor was third with 37. The Bears won the last event of the day, the 1,600-meter relay.
Olympic silver medalist Michael Conley led Arkansas with a triple-jump of 58-1 3/4, the third-best leap in history. Only Brazilian Joao Oliveria's jump of 58-8 1/2 at Mexico in the 1974 Pan American Games and Keith Connor's 58-5 at Brisbane, Australia two years ago topped Conley's mark.
Conley wasn't the only Razorback to fare well. Roddie Haley won the 400 in 44.70, Bill Jazinski was third in the high jump (7-6), Marty Kobza finished fifth in the shot put (65-8) and Paul Donovan was second in the 1,500 at 3:42.85
Oregon won the women's division with 52 points. The Ducks were trailed by Florida State and Louisiana State with 46 points each. Arizona and UCLA had 45 each.
Helped by a strong wind, Nebraska's Rhonda Blanford ran the fastest time ever by an American woman in the 100 hurdles--12.70. Other winners in women's competition included Alabama's Iris Gronfeldt in the javelin (187-8), Arizona's Katrena Johnson in the high jump (6-4 1/2), Florida State's Esmerelda Garcia in the triple jump (43-7 1/2) and Rice's Regina Cavanaugh in the shot put (56-7 1/2). Sherri Howard of Cal State Los Angeles won the 400 in 59.95.
Thomas Eriksson of Lamar set an NCAA record with a 7-7 1/2 in the high jump. Oregon's Brian Crouser won the javelin with a throw of 281-0, Southern Methodist's Henry Andrade took the 110 hurdles (13:43), Brigham Young's Ed Eyestone was the winner in the 5,000 (13:56.72) and George Mason's Abdi Abdi took the 1,500 in 3:41.62).