Hines' second place in the long jump wasn't USC's only setback on Friday. In the 100, Willie Deckard, tabbed by John Carlos as the next World's Fastest Human, got a bad start, stumbled 10 yards up the track and inexplicably pulled up to finish last. In extenuation, Deckard had been sidelined all week with a combination of asthma and flu. UCLA had troubles of its own making, too. In a 440 relay heat Ronnie Welch was jostled in the passing zone, couldn't complete his handoff to Wayne Collett and the Bruins failed to qualify. This mishap probably cost them six points.
Early on Saturday, Brigham Young made a pass at the team title as Ralph Mann won the 440-yard intermediate hurdles in 49.6, the best time in the world this year. This gave the Cougars a total of 34 points, but they got only one more. "Nothing went right for us," said Mann. "Some of the guys we expected points from were injured, and that killed us. And that track, wow! It's called rubber asphalt, but I think they put in an awful lot more asphalt than rubber. If a strong headwind hadn't held me upright the last 100 yards, I don't think a guy named Ralph Mann would have won."
Be that as it may, the track didn't hurt Smith, who caught USC's Edesel Garrison in the last few strides of the quarter; Collett finished fourth, giving UCLA 14 more points. And, of course, the mile relay victory meant 10 more.
At the same time, USC was dying. Deckard, everybody's favorite, got away slowly in his 220 heat, reached out and found nothing coming out of the curve and was eliminated. "I'm just plain tired," he sighed. "I just fell apart. I just couldn't get my knees up."
Across the way, USC's Joe Antunovich, who has thrown 206 feet in practice, was finishing sixth in the discus with 178'2". He had been expected to do no worse than second. But the week before, while winding up some weight work, he ripped a ligament in his right thigh and couldn't walk until two days before the competition.
When Tracanelli came in second in the pole vault and Denny Rogers and James Butts went three-four in the triple jump, UCLA had a winning total of 52 points to USC's 41 and Oregon's 38. "I've been working for this team championship for four years," said Rogers, "but for the first three something always happened. We've always kidded about the gold-watch trip. We've finally made it. I just wish McAlister could have been here."
Then UCLA went into its yell huddle. Someone shouted from the center, "Let's hear it for McAlister."
"Hey," yelled Bush, "I want to hear that one loud and clear." He did.