"Verrrry kweeeek. National record," said Spain's Jose Abascal who had taken fourth in 3:52.56. Even little-known Jay Woods of Brigham Young, the fifth-place finisher, had logged a collegiate record 3:54.40, paring .6 off the mark set in 1974 by Tony Waldrop of North Carolina.
"This track is the fastest I've ever run on indoors," said Flynn. "The bends are beautifully built."
"I helped design it," Coghlan reminded him gently.
Coghlan was led to an assemblage of reporters beneath the stands. "Eamonn, could you rerun the race for us?" asked a newspaperman. Coghlan immediately took off down the concrete passageway. You asked for it. He came back smiling. "I'm psyched," he declared.
Now that he had achieved his goal of a sub-3:50 mile, what would Coghlan aim for next? "If there is another goal, it's to make the indoor mile record faster than the outdoor mile record." That would mean an indoor mile faster than 3:47 33, Sebastian Coe's current world best. "I think it can be done," Coghlan said confidently, with no doubt as to who he thinks will do it.
The week, he said, had been good. He'd written a letter to his friend, former sprinter Herschel Walker—Coghlan, the Irish track hero, seems also to have developed a Joycean love of writing—wishing him good luck in the USFL. "I sent it to the University of Georgia, so I hope he gets it," said Coghlan. At the end of his little press conference he explained to reporters that he plans to run the 5,000 meters in both the World Track & Field Championships this August in Helsinki and at the 1984 Olympics. And that, because he'll be concentrating on the L.A. Games next year, he probably won't run very much indoors.
"So you're almost finished as a miler," someone offered.
Coghlan was mildly startled at the suggestion. "After 3:49," he said, "I'm not half finished."