Peter Carruthers has turned also-ran Arizona into a contender in the final lap of the supercollider marathon

WASHINGTON—Seven states remain in the marathon race to be chosen as home of the superconducting supercollider, and each faces the scientific version of Heartbreak Hill this week. The challenge: a one-on-one meeting with Energy Secretary John Herrington during which each state delegation makes its pitch.

Although Energy Department officials have been tight-lipped about the likely winner, speculation has raged for months among those involved in high-energy physics. Texas is seen as a strong contender because of its political and economic clout, and Illinois, no lightweight itself on either count, attracts support because it already has the powerful accelerator at Fermilab. But don’t count out “little” Arizona. Scheduled at random to be first across Herrington’s threshhold, the Arizona team will be representing a state that two years ago wasn’t given much of a chance...

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