Marino Jones Upset in Long Jump
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ Marion Jones’ invincibility in the long jump is over.
In a stunning upset at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday night, Jones’ two-year reign as national champion was ended by Dawn Burrell.
Burrell, the younger sister of Leroy Burrell, the former world record-holder at 100 meters, soared a career-best 22 feet, 10 inches, in handing Jones her first defeat by an American since 1997.
Jones, competing in her first meet since spraining her right knee in a meet at Raleigh, N.C. on June 12, had a best of 22-3 on her first attempt and finished second. After fouling on her second try, Jones, who was leading, tried to protect the knee and not risk further injury by passing her next two jumps.
But when Burrell burst into the lead in round five, Jones, ranked No. 1 in the world last year, rejoined the competition, but she couldn’t match the leading jump. On her final two attempts, she leaped only 21-4 1/4 and 21-7 1/4.
Last year, while running the 100, 200 and 400 meters and competing in the long jump, Jones lost only once in 37 meets, beaten by Germany’s Heike Drechsler in the long jump in her final event.
``I’m not going to put anything off on the knee,″ Jones said. ``I felt very good today.
``I’m going to be faced with that the rest of my career. I’m going to have to be able to pull it out in the end, and I didn’t do that today.″
Meanwhile, Inger Miller, a member of the gold medal-winning 400 relay team at the 1996 Olympics, won the women’s 100 in a wind-aided 10.96 seconds, beating two-time Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers by .01 seconds, and Dennis Mitchell, who was banned last year after testing positive for a high level of testosterone, took the men’s 100 in a wind-aided 9.97.
Miller used a late rush in the final 10 meters to overtake Devers, who was competing in the 100 for the first time in two years, following a series of injuries.
``It’s a good feeling to come back like this and run the way I did,″ Devers said. ``It helps to get my confidence back.″
Mitchell, the bronze medalist at the 1992 Olympics and fourth in 1988 and 1996, normally would be sitting out a two-year ban after his positive test. But a USA Track & Field drug panel cleared him of the charges in December.
However, the sport’s world governing body, the International Amateur Athletic Federation, has not yet exonerated him. His case will be heard by the IAAF on July 24.
If the federation votes against Mitchell, he could be barred from the World Championships at Seville, Spain, in August. Mitchell claims his high testosterone level was caused by beer and sex.
``I can’t even begin to explain the emotional trauma I went through this year,″ the excitable Mitchell said. ``It hurt me to go out to the track knowing this could be all gone.″
Friday’s other women’s winners were Connie Price-Smith in the shot put at 61-10 1/2, her eighth consecutive title; Stacey Bowers in the triple jump at 44-9 3/4; and Shelia Burrell in the decathlon with 6,101 points.
The men’s champions were Adam Goucher in the 5,000 in 13:25.59, as he outkicked American record-holder Bob Kennedy down the stretch; Olympic gold medalist Charles Austin in the high jump at 7-5 3/4; Lance Deal in the hammer throw at 263-7, the longest throw by an American this year; and Chris Huffins in the decathlon with 8,350 points.
Price-Smith, winner of every national women’s shot put title since 1992 and 10 overall, almost had her string ended. Going into the final throw of the competition, she was in second place, behind Teri Tunks’ 61-8 1/4. She then beat Tunks by 2 1/4 inches, keeping alive the longest active streak at the outdoor championships.
Bowers, jumping into a strong headwind, produced her winning jump in the second round, as she added the national title to the NCAA championship she won for Baylor earlier this month.
Shelia Burrell was in second place going into the final event of the seven-event, two-day competition, 37 points behind 1997-98 NCAA champion Tiffany Lott-Hogan. But Burrell overcame the deficit by winning the 800 meters in 2:11.82 for her first national heptathlon title. Lott-Hogan was fourth at 2:22.50 and wound up second with 6,026 points.
Goucher and Kennedy waged a rousing two-man duel in the 5,000, before Goucher broke away over the final 50 meters.
Austin, winning his fifth consecutive high jump title, tried to break his Hayward Field record of 7-8, but missed three times at 7-8 1/2.
Deal’s victory gave him his second straight hammer throw title and seventh overall. A resident of Eugene, he was one of the most popular winners, receiving huge applause from the crowd. In return, Deal stopped and bowed to the stands during his victory lap.
Huffins, capitalizing on the absence of world record-holder and Olympic champion Dan O’Brien for the second straight year, won his second consecutive title. He led all the way in the two-day, 10-event competition.