For Michael Johnson, breaking Butch Reynolds’ Drake Relays record in the 400 meters was a nice start.
What Johnson really wants, though, is Reynolds’ more noteworthy mark - the world record.
Johnson began his outdoor season by winning the 400 at Drake in 44.41 seconds. It was his slowest opener since 1991, but it was fast enough to easily beat a talented field and break the meet record of 44.60 that Reynolds set in 1987.
Reynolds set the world record of 43.29 in 1988.
Some other Olympic hopefuls had encouraging performances at Drake.
Gwen Torrence, the world’s No. 1-ranked woman in the 100 and 200, also made her outdoor debut and won the 200 in 22.62.
Danny Harris, the 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the 400 hurdles, won that event in 48.86.