ATHENS, Greece — Chip Rish of Huntington Beach helped the American team set a world junior record of 3 minutes 1.9 seconds Sunday in the men's 1,600-meter relay on the final day of the first World Junior Track and Field Championships.
"This team is so good I think we can win in the 1988 Olympics," said Rish, a 1985 graduate of Marina High School. Rish, a former Times' all-county running back and all-state 400-meter prep runner, is a running back at Arizona State.
William Reid, a 16-year-old high school junior from Philadelphia, ran the final leg in 44.44 seconds to seal the gold medal for the United States. Reid almost lost his place on the team after contracting chicken pox.
Reid and Rish, joined by Clifton Campbell, 19, of Sanford, Fla., and 18-year-old Texan Percy Waddle, bettered the mark of 3:02.46 set by a U.S. team in 1983.
American teams won three of the four relay events and set an American record of 3:30.45 in the women's 1,600-meter relay on Sunday, trimming 4.23 seconds off the mark established in 1982.
The United States missed a sweep of the relays when its team finished second to Britain in the 400-meters and then was disqualified for a bad handoff after the third leg.
The United States won 13 medals in the five-day competition, third behind East Germany and the Soviet Union, each with 19.