In the sprint medley, Dale (45.9), Keith Brown (20.9) and Albert Graves (20.7) sent Belger off with a three-meter lead and he was never seriously challenged. Belger ran the 800 meters in 1:47.4 to give the Wildcats a 3:14.9 mark that was one second shy of the meet record.
But with a thought to the 3,200-meter relay that would be contested less than two hours later, Belger said, "I wish it hadn't been that fast. In the Penn Relays, I'm more concerned about how fast I have to run than how fast I run."
He needn't have worried. In the metric equivalent of the two-mile relay, Belger got the baton four meters behind New Mexico's fleet Kenyan, Sammy Kipkurgat, after Paige had made up six meters on the Lobos by running the third leg in 1:47.1.
Going into the gun lap, Belger had cut the deficit to two meters as the crowd of 36,421 roared its approval at the best sustained duel of the afternoon. Belger passed Kipkurgat on the final turn and won by three meters in 1:47.1
"I love it," Belger said. "I've got a lot of faith in myself. I knew it would be a two-man race. I wanted to feel him out but I made one move and he faded. It was a good race. I wish there were more like that." Later, Belger's joy was heightened still further when he was named Outstanding College Track Athlete of the meet. ( Indiana's Robert Cannon won the title among field athletes for his 53'10�" triple jump.)
Villanova's fifth victory came in the 6,000-meter relay, in which Dean Childs (3:47.9), Jim Flynn (3:47.4), John Burns (3:44.0) and Paige (3:47.8) beat Penn State by .8 of a second. The Nittany Lions' foursome of Mike Wyatt, Dave Felice, Tom Rapp and Robert Snyder (3:45.2) took solace from the fact that their 15:07.9 mark was an American record because Childs is Canadian.
Villanova was the dominant team, but bad breaks prevented Renaldo Nehemiah, Maryland's 19-year-old freshman hurdler, from achieving similar status on an individual level. On Friday, shortly after asking Terrapin Coach Frank Costello, "How many races can I run?" Nehemiah anchored Maryland's 400-meter relay team to a 40.08 mark that led all qualifiers; led off the 800-meter relay team with a 20.6 leg; won his high-hurdle heat in a wind-aided 13.41 and anchored the 480-yard shuttle hurdle relay team to the fastest (57.8) qualifying time by flying over the barriers in an unofficial 13.3 seconds.
On Saturday, Nehemiah anchored the sprint relay team to a 39.89 victory and ran the fastest time in the world this year (13.52, which is also a junior world record) in the 110-meter hurdles. But Maryland's 800-meter relay team, to which he contributed another 20.6 leg, finished second to Tennessee by one-tenth of a second and, worst of all, the shuttle hurdle team was disqualified when an official ruled that Nehemiah had started too soon. Costello timed Nehemiah in 12.8 for Saturday's anchor leg as Maryland finished in 55.7 seconds, one-tenth off the world record.
The vast number of entrants and events at the Penn Relays often tends to obscure outstanding performances, such as that of Darroll Gatson, who ran a sizzling 44.5 leg for third-place Alabama in the finals of the 1,600-meter relay. Had Villanova not won, it might have been a happier day for the Bama bullet. As it was, Gatson was just another athlete thinking, "There oughtta be a law."