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Hurdler keeps Iowa State string intact

April 26, 1997

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Iowa State’s victory string at the Drake Relays is still intact and so is Arizona’s.

Jason Woods of Iowa State easily outran his competition to win the 110-meter hurdles Saturday, ensuring that the Cyclones’ streak of winning at least one event at Drake every year since 1981 would continue.

``I never really thought about it,″ said Woods, who finished in 13.77 seconds. ``Iowa State has such a great tradition. We’ve brought a lot of good athletes down here. I really didn’t feel it was on my shoulders to continue the tradition, but I’m happy I got it. It’s still going.″

As it turned out, the streak didn’t entirely hinge on Woods. An hour later, Iowa State got yet another victory when Josh Hagedorn won the shot put with a throw of 63 feet, 7 inches _ the best by a collegian this year. The Cyclones now have 50 victories at Drake since 1981, nearly twice as many as any other school.

Arizona won the university distance medley relay for the third straight year as Bob Keino came through with another strong anchor. Keino had anchored a come-from-victory in the 6,400 relay on Friday.

Woods wasn’t happy with his start and was slow getting to the first two hurdles. But he was going full bore by the halfway mark and kept building his lead over the final 50 meters.

Northern Iowa’s Joey Woody, who set a meet record in the 400 hurdles on Friday, was second in 14.01.

``The main part of my race is the last five hurdles,″ said Woods, a two-time Iowa high school champion. ``Midway through, I really decided to kick it up. My form was real good and I was able to kick it harder without making any mistakes.″

Arizona had no trouble winning the distance medley. No. 3 runner Luther Kopf gave the Wildcats a two-step lead over Illinois by running his 1,200-meter leg in 1:49.2 and Keino took it from there, sprinting away from Cortney Lamb of Illinois immediately and beating him by 60 meters.

Keino ran the final 1,600 in 4:01.2 as Arizona, which opened with Micheil Jones and Dameon Ortiz, finished in 9:34.05. Illinois ran 9:41.24.

``As soon as I came around the curve and passed the guy from Illinois, I knew there wasn’t anyone who was going to pass Bob,″ said Kopf, who also joined Keino on the winning distance medley teams in 1995 and 1996.

``Today felt good for all of us. Bob kind of bailed us out yesterday. Today, we all did more of our part.″

On Friday, Keino overcame a 40-meter deficit on the final leg of the 6,400 relay. But he said that for him, Saturday’s race actually was harder.

``Yesterday, the motivation was to catch people and win. You automatically run faster then,″ said Keino, the son of Kenya’s legendary distance star, Kip Keino. ``This time, I had to maintain the lead and worry about splits and pace.″

Baylor, second to Iowa State in Drake Relays victories since 1981, got No. 27 in that span when Brian Kiem outran Steve Plasencia in the final lap to win the 5,000 in 14:00.27. Plasencia finished in 14:02.86.

Baylor also got a victory in the women’s division, winning the 400 relay in 44.70. Eastern Michigan won the women’s shuttle hurdle relay in 56.27.

Sevatheda Fynes of Michigan State won the women’s 100 for the second time in three years, finishing in 11.31. She won handily but was off the meet record of 11.19 she sat in 1995 when she was running for Eastern Michigan.

Melissa Mueller of Oshkosh, Wis., cleared 12-3 3/4 to win the first-ever women’s pole vault at the Drake Relays.

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