Originally created 06/28/99

Hartwig sets pole vault record

EUGENE, Ore. -- Maurice Greene showed why he's the world fastest human, winning even with a poor start. Marion Jones showed that even a knee injury can't slow her.

Greene and Jones capped the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships by winning the men's and women's 200-meter dashes Sunday.

Greene, capitalizing on the absence of injured world record-holder Michael Johnson, sped to victory in a wind-aided 19.93 seconds, beating national indoor champion Rohsaan Griffin by .05 seconds.

It wasn't an ordinary Greene race. He stumbled out of the blocks and had to put his left hand on the track to maintain his balance. He finally took the lead with 80 meters remaining and cruised to the finish.

While Greene didn't come close to Johnson's world record of 19.32 or his personal best of 19.86, even with an aiding wind of 2.3 meters per second, he showed he was the best on this day.

Earlier this month, Greene set the world record for 100 meters of 9.79.

"The start of my race was shaky, but I recovered well and ran the best race I could today. It was a stumble out of the blocks. I didn't get enough block clearance."

Jones, the 1998 track athlete of the year, led all the way in winning in 22.10. Like Greene, it was not close to her best of 21.62 and far off the world record of 21.34, but Jones was superior to the rest of the field.

She led coming off the curve and was not seriously challenged.

Two weeks ago, Jones sprained her right knee while long-jumping, and has been nursing the injury since, though she did not use that as an excuse Friday night when she was upset in the long jump.

"It's the best it's felt," Jones said of her knee. There were several other outstanding performances on the final program of the four-day championships that was the qualifying meet for the World Championships at Seville, Spain, in August.

Jeff Hartwig broke his American record in the pole vault, soaring 19 feet, 9 inches; John Godina uncorked the best shot put in the world in two years, 72-3, smashing the 15-year-old Hayward Field record; Tisha Waller shattered meet and field records in winning the women's high jump at 6-6 1-4; Gail Devers won the women's 100 hurdles in a wind-aided 12.54; Mark Crear took the men's 110 hurdles in a wind-aided 13.09; and Regina Jacobs, winnner of the women's 1,500 Saturday, completed an unprecedented distance double by winning the 5,000 in 15:24.80.

Hartwig slithered over the bar at 19-9 on his first attempt, surpassing the mark of 19-8 1-2 he set last year. Hartwig then tried to become the first American to clear 20 feet, but missed three times, not coming close on any try.

Still, he broke the meet record of 19-7 set by Scott Huffman in 1994 and the Hayward Field record of 19-6 1-4 established in 1994 by Ukraine's Sergei Bubka, the world record-holder at 20-1 3-4. Hartwig's effort also matched the best performance ever in the United States, by Bubka, shortly before the 1996 Olympics.

"I'm always looking for the American record, every time I jump," Hartwig said. "I had a big adrenaline rush after 19-9."

Godina, the runner-up in the discus Saturday, put on a tremendous show in the shot put, with his first three throws exceeding 70 feet. On his longest throw, the usually conservative Godina danced happily along the fringes of the shot put area.

The winning toss broke the Hayward Field record of 71-11 by John Brenner in 1984.

Godina didn't even have to compete in the shot put Sunday, since he had a bye into the World Championships as the two-time defending champion.

"This is good for the rest of the season," Godina said, after his longest throw in three years. "It's where I wanted to start throwing."

In winning her third outdoor title in four years and completing a sweep of the indoor and outdoor championships this year, Waller erased the meet and field record of 6-5 1-2, by Jan Wohlschlag in 1988 and Tanya Hughes in 1992, respectively.

After clinching the victory, Waller missed three times at an American record 6-8 1-4.

Devers, competing in her first competitive hurdles race in three years, ran the fastest race in the world this year under any conditions. Plagued by injuries since 1996, Devers still is hurting.

"I pulled my hamstring in three places," she said.

Melissa Morrison, the fastest American this year under legal conditions, hit the fourth hurdle and never recovered.

Crear's time in the men's hurdles also was the fastest in the world this year under any conditions. He surged over the final hurdle to beat two-time world champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson, second at 13.15.

Larry Wade, the American leader this year, was slow from the start, bothered by muscle cramps in both legs.

Jacobs became the meet's only double winner and the first ever to sweep the 1,500 and 5,000. She stayed close to the leaders, before charging to the front with less than 500 meters remaining.

Sunday's other winners were Khadevis Robinson in the men's 800 in 1:45.92; Pascal Dobert in the men's 3,000 steeplechase in 8:21.48; Jearl Miles-Clark in the women's 800 in 1:59.47; Lynda Blutreich in the women's javelin at 182-2; and Curt Clausen in the men's 20-kilometer walk in 1:23:34.


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