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Carter shakes off toe injury to take bronze in 400 hurdles

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EUGENE, Ore. -- Tiombe Hurd got the gold medal in the women's triple jumpand James Carter took the bronze in the men's 400-meter hurdles yesterday atthe U.S. National Outdoor Track and Field Championships, bringing Maryland'sdelegation to the World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, in August tothree.

Baltimore's Bernard Williams qualified with his second-place finish in themen's 100-meter dash final Friday, and will be a 200-meter finalist today.

Hurd and Carter had their turns yesterday at the University of Oregon'shistoric Hayward Field.

Hurd, the James Madison University graduate out of West Potomac High Schoolwho won the bronze medal in the women's triple jump at the World IndoorChampionships in Lisbon in March, took her first national outdoor gold medalwith a fifth-round hop, step and jump of 46 feet, three-quarters of an inch.

Arizona's Yuliana Perez had surged past Hurd with a leap of 45-10 1/2 ,only to see Hurd go right by her.

"For me, this is something really special," said Hurd, 27. "I may be theonly winner in the meet holding down a full-time job."

She's a computer systems analyst at Washington's Park Hyatt Hotel, andfinding training time isn't easy.

However, six years out of college, Hurd has found a way.

"I think I can get a lot better in the triple jump, too. It hasn't been anevent American women have done well at, but now we're getting the hang of it... finally."

Two weeks ago, the 23-year-old Carter, a fourth-place finisher in Sydney,had serious doubts he'd even run in the meet. He jammed his right big toeunder a door after running in a meet in Poznan, Poland, and has been limpingmuch of the time since.

But Carter, a 1996 graduate of Mervo Tech High School, put those troublesbehind him once the starting gun was fired. Running from the difficult Lane 8-- with no other runners in sight -- Carter stayed in the thick of the fightthe whole way and held on for third in 48.79 seconds.

Only 2000 Olympic champion Angelo Taylor (48.53, best time by an Americanthis year) and 1996 Olympian Calvin Davis (48.75) got over the line ahead ofCarter.

Eric Thomas, another 2000 Olympian, was a tough-luck fourth (49.09.)

"Physically and mentally, I was beaten up coming into this meet," Cartersaid. "My toe still hurts, but I wasn't going to give into anything.

"I didn't let Lane 8 bother me, either. It's still 400 meters and 10hurdles for everybody. Now, that I've made the team, I've just got to go homeand let my body respond properly. I'll be OK, but it may take some time."

Williams clocked a 20.50-second 200-meter semifinal, running second toShawn Crawford's 20.49, but he will have to run faster in today's final. RamonClay (20.20) and Kevin Little (20.21) went 1-2 in the other semifinal.

The men's 1,500-meter final created the most anticipation, includingcoverage on ESPN's SportsCenter. It evolved into a fierce battle, but astopwatch letdown.

Colorado State's Bryan Berryhill led the field through the first 400 metersin 58.3, and 800 in 1:57.8, only to fade back to seventh at the wire in3:38.66.

The six men who rushed by in the final lap were led by Georgetown graduateAndy Downin in 3:37.63 and Arkansas alumnus Seneca Lassiter in 3:37.66. ButAlan Webb, the sensational 18-year-old from Reston, Va., who lowered thenational high school mile mark to 3:53.43 here three weeks ago, could nevermake a charge at the leaders and wound up fifth in 3:38.50.

"Nobody really thought I had a chance except me, my coaches and my family,"said Downin. But with the World Championships' `A' standard set at 3:36.50,the outlook for Americans in the 1,500-meter at Edmonton is muddled.

Columbia's Al Heppner placed fourth (1:31.24) in the 20K racewalk.

Other notable women's champions were Regina Jacobs in the 1,500 meters(4:06.12), Deena Drossin in the 10,000 meters (32:05.14), and world-recordholder Stacy Dragila in the pole vault (15-1 3/4 .)

Breaux Greer stretched the Hayward Field men's javelin record to 279-7;33-year-old Antonio Pettigrew, the 1991 world champion, beat all the youngermen in the 400, running 45.08.

Men 200 preliminaries (Top two from each heat plus next eight best timesadvanced to semifinals) Heat one--1, Bernard Williams, Nike, 20.25. 2, ShawnCrawford, Mizuno, 20.31. 3, Aaron Armstrong, Gainesville, Fla., 20.37. 4,Kevin Braunskill, Nike, 20.89. 5, Jake Jensen, Oklahoma City, Okla., 20.93. 6,Andre Totton, South Carolina, 21.0. 7, Rohshaan Griffin, Asics TC, 21.03. 200semifinals (Top four from each heat advance to Sunday's final) Heat two--1,Crawford, 20.49. 2, Williams, 20.50. 3, Lewis, 20.63. 4, Carter 20.71. 5,Johnson, 20.78. 6, Perry, 20.85. 7, Grimes, 20.88. 8, Armstrong, 30.67. 400hurdles final 1, Angelo Taylor, Nike, 48.53. 2, Calvin Davis, adidas, 48.75.3, James Carter, Nike, 48.79. 4, Eric Thomas, Nike, 49.09. 5, Bayano Kamani,Baylor, 49.18. 6, Joey Woody, Team New Balance, 49.35. 7, William Porter,Nike, 50.30. 8, Regan Nichols, Austin, Texas, 50.44. 1,500 final 1, AndyDownin, Nike, 3:37.63. 2, Seneca Lassiter, Nike, 3:37.66. 3, Paul McMullen,Ypsilanti, Mont., 3:37.94. 4, Gabe Jennings, Stanford, 3:38.02. 5, Alan Webb,Reston, VA, 3:38.50. 6, Clay Schwabe, US Military Academy, 3:38.53. 7, BryanBerryhill, adidas, 3:38.66. 8, Ibrahim Aden Gedi, Nike, 3:39.82. 9, MichaelStember, Stanford, 3:39.86. 10, Nick MacFalls, Nike Farm Team, 3:45.52. 11,Charlie Gruber, Kansas, 3:46.40. 12, Christian Hesch, Morro Bay, Calif.,3:46.73.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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