PHILADELPHIA -- The Santa Monica Track Club, with Carl Lewis anchoring, showed the way at the 98th Penn Relays at Franklin Field, setting a world record in the 4x200 relay of 1 minute, 19.11 seconds.
The time would have been even faster, but Lewis, who had left his mark early, had to slow down to accept the baton from Floyd Heard. Mike Marsh and Leroy Burrell ran the other legs, and their passes were a springboard to the record in an event not on the Olympic schedule.
"My handoff to Floyd set the tone for the whole race," said Burrell, a native of nearby Lansdowne, Pa., who held the world 100 mark for two months last summer. "Floyd ran a blistering leg, but our handoff gave us the points we needed to get the record. We get three of those and there's no reason we shouldn't run in the low 1:18s."
It is the third world record for the 30-year-old Lewis, and he hopes a portent of things to come at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. At last summer's World Championships in Tokyo, he lowered the world record in the 100 to 9.86 and anchored the American team that included Burrell, Dennis Mitchell and Andre Cason in lowering the 4x100 record to 37.50.
Santa Monica's team set the previous 4x200 record, 1:19.38, in 1989 in West Germany. They warmed up yesterday with a 38.79 clocking in the 4x100. Conditions were hardly conducive to a world sprint record, as the participants and a crowd of 38,508 -- including meet benefactor Bill Cosby and retired Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf -- was buffeted by a chilly wind.
"We were concerned all week about the weather," Lewis said. "Just before the 4x100, the sun came out, and it came out again before the 4x200. We're thankful the weather gods opened the door."
Olympic champion Peter Robo, formerly of Mount St. Mary's, lost his bid to repeat in the Jumbo Elliott 1,500 to Mark Dailey of the New York AC. Dailey finished in 3:43.35, Rono 3:43.52. Gina Procaccio took the women's 1,500 in 4:13.36.
Former TCU star and Jamaican Olympian Raymond Stewart took the Olympic Development 100 in 10.34, while in the college 100, Houston's Samuel Jefferson ran a 10.33 to nip West Virginia's James Jett (10.34). Jett expects to have his named called in the NFL draft today.
Tony Dees won the Olympic Development 110 hurdles in a meet-record 13.53. In the college hurdles, James Madison's Jerry Roney, a junior from Woodlawn, continued to have difficulties with his start but nearly caught Indiana's Glenn Terry, whose wind-aided 13.69 was just .01 faster. Tony Parrilla, a high school rival of Roney's, anchored Tennessee's winning sprint medley in 1:45.6, as the Volunteers' 3:14.47 was only two seconds off the collegiate record.
"I thought I was going to run 1:48 or 1:49 because I wasn't hurting at all," Parrilla said. "Coach [Doug] Brown just tells me to turn left and go."
In 1988, when Parrilla was a sophomore at Severna Park High School, he finished second behind Roney in the state Class 4A 400. Parrilla spent his last two high school years in Florida, and is considered the nation's best young half-miler.
Morgan State was third (3:20.57) in the consolation sprint medley for IC4A schools, and UMES was third (3:20.83) in the college consolation. In IC4A consolation races, Mount St. Mary's was second in both the 4x200 (1:25.39) and 4x400 (3:10.42). Navy (42.11) followed Air Force in the Service Academies 4x100.
In other championship races for college men: Arkansas made it seven wins in eight years in the 4x1,500 (15:01.62); Villanova repeated in the 4x800 (7:21.93) ; Ohio State led from the start in the 4x400 (3:04.68); and LSU went 39.70 in the 4x100 and 1:22.02 in the 4x200.
Among the women, Alabama cruised to an 8:26.1 victory in the 4x800; Florida claimed 4x400 (3:34.35) and the 4x200 (1:33.28). UMES was eighth in the 4x200 (1:37.67).
Poly's boys used a 48-second split from Tramont Evans en route to a 4x400 relay clocking of 3:21.63, the fastest by an area school in at least four years. The Engineers were second in their section, while MSA A Conference rival Mervo was also second in its section, in 3:25.12, and later the Mustangs finished second in the consolation 4x100 for schools with 524 or fewer boys in 43.13.
Eleanor Roosevelt of Prince George's County, with Maryland-bound Jermaine Lewis anchoring, was second in the championship 4x100, in 41.62. Jamaicans continued their dominance, St. Jago taking the 4x100 (41.46); Jamaican College the 4x400 (3:12.93) and Vere Tech the 4x800 (7:44.95).
Severna Park lowered its area best in the 4x800 to 8:12.36.
Area boys: 4x400 relay: Poly, 3:21.62; Mervo, 3:25.12; North County, 3:33.65; Glenelg, 3:35.46; Gilman, 3:39.11; Oakland Mills, D8 4x800 relay: Severna Park, 8:12.36; Glenelg, 8:28.5.