US Champs: 3WL

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 24, 2006 (AFP) - Kerron Clement outsprinted world champion Bershawn Jackson to win the 400m hurdles in 47.39sec, one of three world-leading performances that the US athletics championships on Saturday.
Clement, the defending national champion, stuttered over the last barrier but recovered over the final 40 meters.
His time was the fastest in the world this year while Jackson, the gold medallist last year in Helsinki, finished in 47.48.
I was prepared to defend my title and I did that,'' Clement said. I’m very pleased with my time and the win.’’
Sanya Richards scrapped plans for a sprint double here and won the women’s 400m in 49.27, also the world’s best performance of 2006.
Richards, the defending champion and a silver medallist at last year’s worlds, led wire to wire and was never seriously challenged.
Richards had considered a run at the American 200m record here, but withdrew from the qualifying rounds earlier in the day.
I really want to schedule an event where I can double in the 200 and 400,'' said Richards. I definitely think it’s going to happen later in the season.’’
Five-time Olympic medallist Marion Jones also withdrew from the 200m. She won the 100m on Friday, but after running three rounds in one day because of storms on Thursday, Jones decided not to attempt the 200m.
Lashinda Demus produced the other world leader, winning her semi-final in the women’s 400m hurdles in 53.50sec.
Another silver medallist from the 2005 worlds, Andrew Rock, won the men’s 400 in 44.45.
Rock held off a challenge from LaShawn Merritt, the 2004 world junior champion, who was second in 44.50.
With five meters to go we were right next to each other,'' said Rock, and I was going to have to push it to pull it off. When I crossed the line I thought I had won, but I had to look up at the scoreboard.’’
In the wake of reigning world champion Bryan Clay’s withdrawal, Tom Pappas won the decathlon with 8,319 points. Pappas, the 2003 world champion, is coming back this season from a foot injury that sidelined him for all of 2005.
Elsewhere in the men’s competition, 2003 Pan American Games silver medalist Russ Buller won the pole vault with a 5.80m clearance.
World 400m champion Jeremy Wariner advanced to Sunday’s 200m semi-final, winning his heat in 20.28sec, the quickest time of the first round.
Ginnie Powell, who claimed the women’s collegiate 100m hurdles title 15 days ago, shaded Damu Cherry and Michelle Perry for her first US crown.
Powell’s time was 12.63 to Cherry’s 12.64 and 12.67 for Perry in the day’s closest finish.
In other women’s finals, Treniere Clement repeated as the 1,500m champion with a win in 4:10.44. The 20 kilometer walk went to Joanne Dow in 1:35:20.76, and Lisa Galaviz won the steeplechase in 9:58.58.
A 1.98m clearance gave Chaunte Howard the high jump crown. Rose Richmond’s 6.93m leap gave her first place in the long jump, Aretha Thurmond notched her third career discus title with a throw of 62.50m, and Gi-Gi Johnson won the heptathlon with a score of 6,183 points.


By Gene Cherry
INDIANAPOLIS, June 25 Reuters - Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat completed an unprecedented 1,500-5,000 metres double and six world-leading performances were set at the U.S. championships.
A double Olympic medallist for Kenya, Lagat clocked 3:39.29 for 1,500 metres to complete a feat never accomplished in the same meet at the 118-year-old championships.
He won the 5,000 metres in 13:14.32 on Friday.
It means a lot,'' the 31-year-old Lagat told reporters. I didn’t know that nobody had done it until someone was telling me that today.’’
The rain-delayed national championships were the first for Lagat since becoming a U.S. citizen in 2004.
I got a really warm reception here,'' he said. I feel a connection with the people, like you are a part of us. I think by doubling and winning both it is my way of giving back to them. ‘’
He will be eligible to represent the U.S. for the first time in next year’s world championships in Osaka, Japan.
World triple jump champion Walter Davis led a parade of season-leading performances.
Davis bounded an outdoor lifetime-best 17.71 metres on his final attempt to retain his U.S. title.
Lashinda Demus, Wallace Spearmon, Dominique Arnold, Khadevis Robinson and Tora Harris also became the top performers in their events this year.
Demus ran the fastest women’s 400 metres in the world for the second day. The world silver medallist clocked an impressive 53.07 seconds for the victory after running 53.50 seconds in Saturday’s semi-finals.
She and joint world record holder Justin Gatlin, Friday’s 100 metres winner, each won $100,000 as top U.S. performers for the season.
Spearmon surged over the last 70 metres to claim the men’s 200 metres in 19.90 seconds. Jordan Vaden was second in 19.98.
Arnold twice recorded the year’s fastest 110 metres hurdles. He clocked 13.15 seconds in the semi-finals, then edged Olympic silver medallist Terrence Trammell in 13.10 seconds for the title. Trammell ran 13.14 seconds.
Robinson ran a career-best 1:44.13 to win the men’s 800 metres, and Harris, competing in his first outdoor meet of the season, leaped 2.33 metres to win the high jump.