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TRACK AND FIELD Washington's stumble cancels U.S. opportunity



Published: Sat, April 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Jamaican team held off another American squad.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- American Tyree Washington fell, and Team USA lost the 1,600-meter relay Saturday at the Penn Relays, beaten by a Jamaican team in one of six all-star events.

Washington clipped the heels of Bahamas' runner Chris Brown on the second leg and fell hard to the ground. He ripped down his jersey in disgust and did not continue.

Jamaica took over and the team of Michael Blackwood, Sanjay Ayre, Jermaine Gonzales and Davian Clarke won in 3 minutes, 2.63 seconds, holding off another American team that finished second in 3:03.02.

Jamaican fans filled a good portion of Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania, waving flags and chanting for their country as they always have at the historic meet. This time, they had something to celebrate at the end.

"We've been trying to beat the U.S. for a long time," Ayre said. "I'm glad to finally be a part of it. If Tyree didn't fall, I think it would have been a very interesting race."

400 dominance

The win overshadowed another dominant performance by American runners in the 400-meter relay, but they were encouraged by the results anyway.

"I think we bring a breath of fresh air, especially with everything going on in track and field right now," said Justin Gatlin, who anchored the winning 400-meter relay team. "We all have the guts and glory to be the best and put on the best show."

Gatlin trailed by a few meters when he grabbed the baton and quickly caught J.J. Johnson, who anchored another American team. Gatlin, who won the gold in the 100 meters in the Athens Olympics, led his team to a thrilling victory in 38.58 seconds.

The other American team, anchored by Johnson, was second in 38.60 and Jamaica was third in 39.38.

The American women's team of Allyson Felix, Kia Davis, Moushammi Robinson and Hazel Clark ran the fastest time ever in the sprint medley relay, winning in 3:37.42.

The U.S. women's 400-relay team of Angela Daigle, Lauryn Williams, Inger Miller and LaTasha Colander won in 42.68, and the Americans took both sprint medleys, too. Leo Bookman, Karron Conwright, Mitch Potter and Khadevis Robinson won the men's in 3:12.10, and Felix, Davis, Debbie Dunn and Clark took the women's event in 3:37.42.

The American women won their 1,600 relay, with Dee Dee Trotter, Lashinda Demus, Sanya Richards and Monique Hennagan finishing in 3:22.93.

Michigan set an NCAA record in the 4-mile relay, winning in 16:04.54. The previous mark of 16:07.96 was set by Arkansas at the 1999 Penn Relays. Michigan completed a successful weekend later in the day, winning the 3,200 relay in 7:22.59.




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