All is not lost for Leroy Burrell.
He was favored to win the long jump in the NCAA track and field championships at Duke University, but failed by one-half inch to qualify after a leap of 24 feet, 9 1/4 inches. He regrouped, however, and ran to victory in his 100-meters heat in a wind-aided 10.28 seconds."I'm always ready to run fast because I ran fast two weeks ago," Burrell said. "So it's just a matter of coming out and doing it."
So why didn't he do it in the long jump?
"I felt great, I really felt great. I wasn't technically ready," he said. "I was a few steps short, a few practices short, possibly a meet short."
Burrell's time was the second fastest of the three heats, falling behind the 10.20 of Texas A&M's Andre Cason.
But as he prepares for the championship on Saturday, Burrell has a new problem to contend with - a sore right hamstring which he thought would be healed in the two weeks since he injured it at the Southwestern Conference meet.
In the women's 100 meters, Carlette Guidry of Texas and Esther Jones of LSU moved closer to their second straight showdown for a national title by winning their respective heats. Jones was timed in 11.36 and Guidry in 11.41.
Gea Johnson, the second-ranked U.S. heptathlete in 1989, took the meet's first title by capturing her specialty. Johnson's 6,132 points was the best by a collegian this year. She turned in career-bests in the final two events, the javelin throw, with a toss of 147 feet, 5 inches, and the 800 meters, 2 minutes, 14.50 seconds.
In the other final Thursday, sophomore Janet Haskin of Kansas State, the third-place finisher in the Big Eight Conference 5,000 meters, won the 10,000 in 33:49.72, the slowest time in meet history.
Baylor's men's 1,600-relay team ran the fastest time in the world this season, clocking 3:01.46 in a semifinal heat. Anchorman Michael Johnson ran the final 400 meters in 43.5. The previous best time was 3:01.59 by the Santa Monica Track Club.
Wisconsin's Suzy Favor continued her relentless pursuit toward her eighth and ninth NCAA titles - which would make her the winningest woman in the meet's history - by winning her 1,500-meter semifinal heat in 4:15.10.