Diane Dixon got her revenge against Valerie Brisco-Hooks Friday night, and it was every bit as sweet as she had hoped. Which is more than can be said about the relations between the two runners.
Dixon's 1:02.29 in the 500-yard run in the Times/GTE Indoor Games at the Forum established a world record for the New Yorker, and took one away from Brisco-Hooks. That was the sweet part. The memory of their excruciatingly close race last year in San Diego was foremost in Dixon's mind. Brisco-Hooks won it in 1:02.3.
"I had it," Dixon said. "I was leading a step before the finish line and she passed me. I vowed I would get the record."
That race began a feud between the two runners, with each claiming superiority indoors. The grudge hasn't spilled over to this season, largely because the women have concentrated on different events.
Dixon is running only the 500 because it is a Grand Prix event, which awards prize money to the competitor who earns the most points at the end of the season. Not only is Dixon the leader in the event, she is also leading in the women's overall Grand Prix.
Brisco-Hooks is sticking with the 220, in preparation for a run at the world outdoor record later this season.
Brisco-Hooks was warming up for her 220 race as Dixon broke the record. "She didn't say anything to me," Dixon said. Even though last season Dixon fanned the flames of the rivalry, saying it was good for track, Friday night she downplayed it. "We speak. I sent her a Christmas card. We speak."
According to Dixon, excess talk before the race from other runners caused her to feel sick to her stomach and unusually edgy. "There was a lot of talking about who was going to do what in the race," Dixon said. "I hate that. It really bothered me. I had to drink a lot of water. I put a lot of pressure on myself before the race.
"I didn't take it out as fast as I should. I knew Delisa (Walton-Floyd, who was second in 1:02.34) would run a good race with me. I knew she would finish well. But she ran (sprinted) from before the gun lap, and that surprised me."
The record shouldn't have surprised Dixon, however. Every time she has put on a uniform this indoor season, she has set a record. But she has a secret weapon.
Her teammate on the Atoms Track Club, Cheryl Toussaint, designs and sews Dixon's close-fitting one-piece uniform. "She makes a different one for me every meet. Every time it's been a record. I guess I'll keep wearing them, huh?"
Yes, and you can bet Dixon won't lend one to Brisco-Hooks.