Finishing second at the U.S. Olympic Festival was as good as gold for Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Joyner-Kersee ran the second leg on a 400-meter relay team that finished second Saturday to the foursome that will represent the United States at the upcoming Goodwill Games. Joyner-Kersee's team won the gold medal, however, because the winning team was running only as an exhibition.Joyner-Kersee's team finished in 43.52; the winning time was 42.34 seconds.
Joyner-Kersee, the world record holder in the heptathlon, also cleared 6 feet, 2 inches in a high jump exhibition. That would have won the competition, but instead the winner instead was Latrese Johnson of Riverside, Calif., who cleared 6 feet.
The 6-2 by Kersee was her best jump since clearing 6-4 at the 1988 Olympic Trials heptathlon. She made all four of her jumps, clearing 5-8, 5-10 and 6-0 before making her final jump.
"We just wanted to clear 6-2," Joyner-Kersee said. "The good thing about today was I was able to execute the things I've worked on in practice. To clear it on my first attempt was really good."
American record-holder Hollis Conway will compete in the men's high jump on Sunday. It will be his first competition since cutting short his schedule in Europe because of the death of his father July 1.
"I haven't begun to miss him because I still see him clearly in my head," said Conway, who set the American record of 7 feet, 10 inches at last year's Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City.
"I never considered not coming here. Enough time had passed . . . it was time to go on."
In diving, Wendy Lucero did well on her "make it or break it" dives and easily won her third straight Olympic Festival 3-meter springboard title.
Lucero, a 1988 Olympian from Aurora, Colo., had missed one of her tough dives during Thursday's preliminaries and finished second to Krista Wilson of Laguna Hills, Calif.
But in Saturday's finals, she received scores in the 6- and 61/2-point range on both the back 21/2-somersault from the tuck position and reverse 21/2 tuck to win the gold.
"If you're ahead after those dives," Lucero said, "you're pretty much going to take it."
Lucero scored 500.34 points. Wilson, the 1990 U.S. and NCAA champion and the festival's top preliminary qualifier, was never a factor after the seventh round and finished fourth with 467.55 points.
The surprising silver medalist with 475.44 points was Julie Farrell of Holt, Mich., the 12th and final qualifiers in prelims. Cokey Smith of Ann Arbor, Mich., won the bronze with 471.18.
Meanwhile, records continued to fall in weightlifting.
Melanie Getz of Brentwood, Mo., competing in the 56 kilogram class, set an American record of 73.5 kg on her fourth snatch attempt. She set a festival record of 70 kg on her first snatch try, then missed her next two before trying for the American record of 73.0 kg set May 4 by Lynn Stoessel of Marietta, Ga.
Annette Garza, San Antonio, and Natalie Williams, Holliday, Utah, each registered 16 kills to lead the North to a 3-1 victory over the West in the women's gold medal game.