Alabama, LSU Vie for NCAA Indoor Title
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:FYVX103-030802; AUDIO:%)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Distance runner David Kimani survived a bad stumble and teammate Ron Bramlett outleaned an opponent in the hurdles as Alabama did the little things necessary Friday for a run at the NCAA Indoor title.
Tennessee suffered a setback when Southeastern Conference champion Tim Bell failed to score in the high jump. Otherwise, athletes from Tennessee and LSU came through on cue, putting the Vols and the Tigers squarely in the hunt.
``I think the only real surprise for the leaders was Bell not scoring in the high jump,″ Alabama coach Harvey Glance said.
``You never do everything you want,″ Tennessee coach Bill Webb said. ``Bell woke up with an aching knee, but we qualified well.″
After being trapped in third along the inside, Kimani tripped on the final lap of the mile and dropped back. But, Kimani, who got off the deck to win the event in the SEC meet two weeks ago, kept his balance and easily qualified.
Later, Bramlett edged Chris Pinnock of Texas A&M to win the 60 hurdles by a hundredth of a second.
In the final event Friday, Kimani got the baton in 11th place and worked his way to second before tiring in the final yards and finishing third in the distance medley relay.
Tennessee’s Justin Gatlin and Leonard Scott finished 1-3 in the 200 for 16 points and were the fastest in the 60 prelims. Tennessee also is counting on SEC champion Rocky Danners in the pole vault.
Miguel Pate’s 27-4 1/2 in the long jump was far short of the Alabama athlete’s world best, but plenty good enough to win the event. Pate, who broke Carl Lewis’ college record when he did 28-2 1/4 a week ago in New York, jumped 27-0 1/2 on his first try and was never threatened. He widened his lead with his second jump and fouled on all three of his jumps in the final.
``Last week was a huge confidence booster,″ Pate said.
He’s in the triple jump Saturday and has the second-best qualifying mark. Kimani, who won the 3,000 and 5,000 last year, is entered in the mile and the 3,000 on Saturday.
``All we can do is compete well and hope at the end of the day, we’re there,″ Pate said. ``You can’t worry about what others are doing.″
Alabama finished the first day with 26 points, followed by Arkansas with 21 and Tennessee with 20.
A moment after Pate’s first jump, teammate Ron Bramlett settled into the blocks for the prelims in the 60 hurdles. Out fast, Bramlett won with a couple of yards to spare in 7.55, just off the NCAA record of 7.52. He took the final in 7.59.
In the 400, LSU teammates Alleyene Francique and Pete Coley easily won their heats _ Francique in 45.70 and Coley in 46.07.
Two weeks ago, Florida’s Candace Scott said she considered the SEC meet a mid-term exam and the NCAA competition a semester-ending final. After throwing 75-7 1/2 in the 20-pound weight throw, Scott gave herself an A+.
Later, she said it bothered her a little that her two long throws were not certified as records, but said coach Larry Judge told her she could go for that next year.
Shortly after Jamine Moton of Clemson broke Scott’s collegiate record, Scott twice bettered the record and she did it almost a foot at a time. Both times, the apparatus had stretched too far so the record was not certified _ Moton wound up with the meet record and Scott got the trophy.
Two weeks ago, throwing in the same facility in the SEC meet, Scott had a record-setting throw of 73-8.
On Friday, throwing in the first flight, Moton had a heave of 73-10.
Warming up in blue sweats, Scott threatened 70 feet and hurried to get in another throw after it was announced that the ring would close in four minutes.
Scott fouled on her first attempt, slipped on her jacket and consulted with Judge. With a scream for emphasis, Scott then threw 74-9. When the apparatus was weighed and measured, Judge and Scott found out it would not be a record.
On her third throw, the mesh bag with the yellow weight landed 20 inches inside the right sideline at the 75-7 1/2 mark.
After Judge and Scott exchanged two-handed high fives, an official told Judge that the apparatus was too long.
Neither Scott nor Moton improved on their three throws in the finals.
Arizona pole vaulter Amy Linnen established an NCAA record at 14-10 1/4, LSU sprinter Muna Lee did the same in the 200 at 22.82 and Illinois hurdler Perdita Felicien lowered the 60 mark to 7.90.
LSU led the women’s standings with 21, followed by Florida with 20.