TRACK AND FIELD / TAC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS : O'Brien Lands World Best in Decathlon Long Jump

From Staff & Wire Reports

Dan O'Brien set a world best in the decathlon long jump Tuesday and took the lead in the Mobil Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Norwalk.

O'Brien, 23, of Portland, Ore., completed the first five events of the demanding 10-event competition with 4,656 points. The previous first-day best by an American was 4,526, set by 1968 Olympic gold medalist Bill Toomey at the Mexico City Games.

Toomey's total, however, will stand as the American record, because O'Brien's performance was wind-aided.

Defending champion Dave Johnson and Sheldon Blockburger, are tied for second with 4,359 points.

"This was a little beyond my expectations," O'Brien said. "I always thought I had the ability to put it together. Now I'm doing it."

In the long jump, O'Brien went 26 feet 4 1/2 inches on his third jump , breaking the mark of 26-3 set by Mike Herman in the 1960 national championships.

Along with the record jump, O'Brien had the fastest time in the 100 meters, a wind-aided 10.40 seconds; a 50-4 3/4 shotput, second-best in the 16-man field; a 6-11 3/4 high jump, matching the top performance; and a 49.25 for 400 meters.

In the heptathlon, Cindy Greiner, a two-time Olympian making a comeback at 33, led by nearly 100 points with 3,763 points after the 100-meter high hurdles, shotput, high jump and 200-meter run.

Kym Carter was second with 3,666 points and NCAA champion Gea Johnson of Arizona State was third with 3,659.

Today's final events in the heptathlon will be the long jump, javelin and 800 meters.

Track and Field Notes

Among the bigger names to commit to specific events Tuesday were Carl Lewis, who will run in the 100 meters qualifying heats Thursday; Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the long jump and shotput (but not the heptathlon, in which she holds the world record), and Mary Decker Slaney in the 1,500 meters Friday. Athletes may make general entries but must indicate three days before competition the specific events in which they will compete. . . . Steve Scott of Upland and formerly UC Irvine, will attempt to become the winningest active TAC competitor when he tries for his seventh title in the 1,500. . . . Among the top U.S. career records are George Gray's 10 titles in the shotput in the 1880s, Maren Seidler's 11 women's shotput titles in the 1960s and '70s; Dorothy Dodson's 11 straight javelin titles from 1939 to 1949, and current star Evelyn Ashford's five titles each in the 100 and 200 meters. Ashford will compete in only the 100 this week.

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