The finish-line photo was examined. Brisco-Hooks would later carry a copy of it around with her, staring down at the fuzzy black-and-white images and saying in amazement, "Oooooh! Just by a nip!" She'd won. Her time of 52.63—an American indoor record—was .01 faster than Dixon's. "If I'm running this fast indoors," said Brisco-Hooks, who has never shown much speed on the boards, "maybe when I get outdoors I'll be able to go for the world record [held by Jarmila Kratochvilova of Czechoslovakia at 49.59]. That's what I want—real bad."
Coghlan, meanwhile, was shooting for the world indoor mile record of 3:49.78 he'd set two years ago on this track—one he'd helped design. "I'm wearing the same shoes I did then," he said. "And if you remember, I had some numbers written in the heels. The numbers are still there." The numbers he'd written were "3:49.5." "That's still my goal," he said.
Coghlan soon discovered, however, that he'd have challenge enough just maintaining his 14-race indoor winning streak. With three laps to go, former 1,500 record holder Sydney Maree bolted clear of the five, other runners in the field. Only Coghlan hung tight in his wake. " Sydney was pushing it so hard it was drawing the speed out of me," said Coghlan later. "On the last backstretch he was going so hard I didn't think I could respond."
Yet even as he lagged five yards behind Maree, Coghlan was sizing him up. Going into the final curve, Coghlan struck. "I'd watched Sydney the previous three laps and noticed that he wasn't utilizing the turns to his best advantage," he said later. "He wasn't springing off them. So I decided to make my move." Coghlan blasted off the final banking, shot past Maree and hit the tape in 3:52.37—the fastest mile of the year. Maree crossed in 3:52.40, frustrated. "There's nothing to say that Eamonn is better than any of us indoors," he said, "but he thinks he's better than all of us. And we think he's better than all of us."
As he appeared beneath the stands to talk with the press, Coghlan had with him his two children, Suzanne, 6, and Eamonn Jr., 3. Daddy had a new family act to show off.
"Watch this," he told reporters. "I say ' Sydney' to them and they say..."
" Maree!" came the reply.
"I say 'John'; they say..."
"I say 'Steve'; they say..."