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Bailey sweeps sprints

Arkansas men take NCAA track crown

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2003

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Aleen Bailey completed a sprinting sweep in the NCAA track and field championships Saturday night, defeating LSU's Muna Lee in the 200 meters just as she had a day earlier in the 100.

But the Jamaican speedster, who almost single-handedly kept defending champion South Carolina in contention for the team title, could only watch as LSU pulled away for its 13th team crown.

In the men's competition, Alistair Cragg clinched Arkansas' 10th team title its first since a string of eight straight championships ended in 1999 by winning the 5,000.

Cragg took the lead from Stanford's Louis Luchini with about 200 meters left and won by 10 meters, pumping his right arm in the air twice as he crossed the finish line.

Cragg, knowing he had the chance to clinch the team title, said he was uncharacteristically nervous before the race.

''My mind wasn't in it, I was just worrying about team scores and teammates,'' he said. ''My arms were jelly and my legs were jelly, it's the first time I've let pressure get to me like that.''

Cragg finished second Thursday in the 10,000 to teammate Dan Lincoln, who also won Friday's steeplechase. Cragg and Lincoln combined to account for 38 of the Razorbacks' 59 points.

''An iron-man performance by those two guys,'' Arkansas coach John McDonnell said. ''It was amazing how they handled it, but I knew they could do it or I wouldn't have asked them to.''

Auburn was second with 50 points. Southern California was third.

, followed by LSU and Nebraska.

Auburn stayed close to the Razorbacks until Arkansas' strength in the middle-distance and distance races took over.

Arkansas' Chris Mulvaney finished second in the 1,500 and teammate Said Ahmed was fifth in a race won by Grant Robison of Stanford. And in the 800, Robbie Stevens was third to give Arkansas six more points as Sam Burley of Penn won the race.

In the women's 200, Bailey caught Lee in the final meters to win in 22.65 seconds.

''I've got a strong heart. I promised my teammates I'd put it on the line for them, and so I did,'' Bailey said. ''It's amazing, and I can't believe that I did it.''

Lee, who faded in the final few meters just as in Friday's 100, was second in 22.76. Connie Moore of Penn State was third in 22.88.

LSU finished with 64 points, followed by Texas with 50 and South Carolina with 47. Florida was fourth, followed by Nebraska and Indiana.

In the men's 400, Minnesota's Adam Steele came from far behind to win a race in which the top three men were separated by 17-thousandths of a second.

Minnesota teammate Mitch Potter seemed to be running away from the field with 75 meters remaining, but was caught by South Carolina's Otis Harris in the final few meters. Potter fell across the finish line, and Harris raised his arms in triumph as he crossed the line.

But Steele had sneaked in to beat them both. His winning time was 44.563 seconds, six-thousandths of a second ahead of Harris. Potter finished in 44.580. All three times were better than any other in the world this year.

''I've never been in a closer race in my life,'' Steele said.

In the women's 400, freshman Sanya Richards of Texas broke her own American junior record by winning in 50.58.

In the men's 200, Leo Bookman of Kansas won in 20.47 a hundredth of a second ahead of Hampton's Jerome Mathis.

Perdita Felicien of Illinois won her second straight NCAA title in the women's 100 hurdles, yet another victory for an international competitor at the top U.S. college meet.

Felicien, a Canadian who became the third woman to win back-to-back NCAA titles in the 100 hurdles, finished in 12.74 seconds to defeat Big Ten rival Danielle Carruthers of Indiana (12.89).

Fifteen of the 38 individual champions at the meet were from outside the United States.

Lauren Fleshman, a Stanford junior, won her third straight national title in the women's 5,000. North Carolina's Alice Schmidt won the 800 for the second year in a row.

Other winners Saturday included Hyleas Fountain of Georgia in the heptathlon, Tiffany McWilliams of Mississippi State in the women's 1,500, Ryan Wilson of Southern California in the men's 110 hurdles, Becky Holliday of Oregon in the women's pole vault, Julien Kapek of Southern California in the men's triple jump, Becky Breisch of Nebraska in the women's shot put and Ineta Radevica of Nebraska in the women's triple jump.

Candice Scott of Florida set a college record of 229 feet in the women's hammer, Hannes Hopley won the men's discus, Dawid Jaworski of Southern California took the men's high jump and Whitney Evans of Washington State won the women's high jump.

Texas, with a dramatic anchor leg by Richards, won the women's 1,600 relay. LSU won the men's 1,600 relay.



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