The smile on Suziann Reid's face said it all, even if she flashed it about two hours before she ultimately helped decide the NCAA outdoor track and field championships' women's team title.
Reid, the University of Texas's normally poker-faced senior who attended Eleanor Roosevelt High in Greenbelt, displayed rare emotion Saturday night after becoming the first woman to win the NCAA outdoor 400-meter championship three times. Later, the smile returned after Reid anchored the Longhorns' 4x400 relay team, which posted a collegiate-record time and, with help from Southern California, gave Texas its second consecutive NCAA outdoor team title after winning the past two NCAA indoor team titles.
Thanks primarily to Reid, Texas held off UCLA, 62-60, for the team championship at Boise State's Bronco Stadium.
On the men's side, Arkansas thwarted Stanford's upset bid and won its eighth consecutive outdoor title and unprecedented fifth sweep of collegiate track's triple crown -- outdoor, indoor and cross-country titles in the same season. Arkansas totaled 59 points to Stanford's 52. Among those helping the Razorbacks was former West Springfield All-Met Sharif Karie, who finished fifth in the 1,500 in 3 minutes 50.18 seconds.
Reid's blistering anchor lap of the 4x400 relay, the meet's final event, brought the Longhorns home in 3:27.08, eclipsing their collegiate record of 3:27.50 set at the 1996 NCAA championships, when Reid was a freshman. Texas had trailed UCLA by two points entering the race, and the Bruins could have tied for the team title with a second-place finish. But USC freshman Kinshasa Davis surged past UCLA anchor Michelle Perry in the final 50 meters to give the Trojans second place in the event, dropping UCLA to second in the team standings. George Mason University finished eighth in 3:35.04, good for all-American honors.
"After I saw Suziann get the stick, I stopped worrying about us and started worrying about USC and UCLA," Texas Coach Bev Kearney said.
"This was the hardest, most difficult and most trying meet I've ever been a part of. We faltered quite a bit and had a lot of confidence problems, so it's amazing we came through. I can't imagine doing this with any group of ladies other than the one I have right now."
Reid never came close to faltering, however. In the 400 final, she led from the start and never looked back, crossing the finish line in 51.08 seconds. In winning her 12th straight 400 final dating from her second-place finish at the 1997 NCAA outdoor championships, she beat second-place Mikele Barber, a South Carolina freshman, by more than a half-second. Barber finished in 51.65.
"I was happy, you know?" Reid said. "They say I'm dominant in this event, so I wanted to finish with a bang. I feel kind of overwhelmed. A lot of people work hard. I'm not conceited, but I work very hard."
UCLA was paced by Seilala Sua, who was named the meet's outstanding female athlete after winning the discus and shot put. The outstanding male athlete was Florida's John Capel, whose 19.87 clocking in the 200 tied the meet record set by Mississippi State's Lorenzo Daniel in 1988 and tied for fourth place all-time among collegiate runners. Only Joe DeLoach, Ato Boldon and Michael Johnson have run faster.
In the men's 100, Brigham Young's Leonard Myles-Mills raced to victory in 9.98 seconds. That made him the first repeat champion in the event since Auburn's Harvey Glance in 1977.
In addition to Reid, several other Washington area runners had notable performances Saturday night.
Tennessee's Dawane Wallace (Mount Vernon) was second in the men's 110 high hurdles, finishing 12-hundredths of a second behind South Carolina's Terrence Trammell.
Clemson's Ato Modibo (High Point) finished fifth in the men's 400 in 45.37.
Georgetown's Sam Gabremarian was eighth in the men's 1,500.
CAPTION: Texas's Suziann Reid (Eleanor Roosevelt) rejoices after winning third career 400 meters at NCAAs.