Two-time Olympic long jump champion Carl Lewis competed for the first time since the Seoul Games and won his 57th straight competition, while Jackie Joyner-Kersee easily won the 55-meter hurdles Saturday to highlight the first Houston Chronicle Indoor Games.
Lewis, who won four gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics and two gold medals in Seoul, jumped 26 feet, 9 inches on his first attempt in his first meet of the season.
"It's an important meet and it makes me feel good," said Lewis, who finished ahead of Leroy Burrell (26-6 1/2). "Generally I'm competing in this type of meet in April and peaking in July or August. So having this meet in January pushes my entire season up two or three months."
Joyner-Kersee, who captured gold medals in the heptathlon and long jump at Seoul, won the 55-meter hurdles in 7.46 seconds, well ahead of runner-up Dawn Bowles' 8.07.
"I was pretty pleased with my performance," said Joyner-Kersee. "It's just a matter of going back to work on the first two hurdles. I was generally pleased, but it certainly could be a lot better."
Lewis and Joyner-Kersee were among nearly 20 members of the U.S. Olympic team who participated in the first indoor meet in Houston since 1980.
Several were not as fortunate as Lewis and Joyner-Kersee.
The biggest upset came in the men's 55 meters where Burrell, a junior at the University of Houston, beat a field that included Floyd Heard, Jamaican Olympian Raymond Stewart, 200-meter Olympic champ Joe DeLoach and Stanley Floyd.
Burrell finished in 6.09, just edging Heard at 6.10. Stewart was third, DeLoach fourth and Floyd fifth.
"I can't said Burrell. "I haven't won a race in such a long time."
Valerie Brisco, who won three golds at the 1984 Olympics and one silver (4x400 relay) at Seoul, did not participate because of a sinus infection while two-time Olympic high hurdles champion Roger Kingdom also missed the meet because of a leg injury.
Another U.S. Olympic gold-medal winner, Kevin Robinzine, finished third out of three runners in the 400 meters. Robinzine competed on the 4 x 400 relay team in Seoul.
Others, though, were successful. Randy Barnes, who last week set a world indoor record in the shot put with a mark of 74-41/2, won the event Saturday with a toss of 70-21/2, more than two feet better than runner-up Augie Wolfe.
Two-time world champion Greg Foster captured the 55-meter hurdles in 6.99, ahead of Cletus Clark, who finished in 7.08.
San Jacinto Junior College broke its own national record in the women's 4x400 relay. Kareth Smith, Toni Jones, Diane Dunrod and Sandie Richards finished in 3:43.61. They had set a JC record Friday night with a 3:49.88 in the preliminaries.
At Johnson City, Tenn., Olympian Vicki Huber of Villanova beat 1984 gold medalist Maricica Puica of Romania Saturday night to win the 3,000-meter run in the Kodak Invitational indoor track and field meet.
"I had no plan going in," said Huber, who won in a time of 8 minutes and 54.48 seconds, five seconds off Brenda Webb's meet record of 8:49.90 set last year. "I was prepared to follow. I wanted to follow."
Huber, who finished sixth in the 3,000 at Seoul, held fourth place for most of the first mile, behind Puica, Lisa Breiding of Kentucky and Joan Nesbit of North Carolina. She moved into the lead when Puica's pace slowed, and widened her lead to win by 15 seconds over Breiding. Puica faded to third.
"This time last year I ran an 8:58 and finished second, so I'm really happy with what I ran tonight," Huber said. "My goal this year is to win the NCAA (indoor) meet in March."
The women's high jump, which promised a showdown between 1988 American gold medalist Louise Ritter and Romania's Melina Astafei, didn't materialize when Ritter pulled out of the meet Saturday afternoon because of a strained knee.