-- Tyree Washington started the spree with a stirring win in the 400 meters. He ended it by anchoring the relay team to victory.

In between, the United States won seven gold medals and 10 medals overall during a 21/2-hour span in the World Indoor Track and Field Championships today.

The spurt included victories by thirty-somethings Gail Devers and Regina Jacobs.

"This has to be one of the best days in U.S. track history," USA Track and Field Chief Executive Craig Masback said.

The Americans finished the three-day meet with 17 medals. They had a championship-record 10 gold and added three silver and four bronze. Russia was second with 12 medals, including five gold.

"It's all about your country -- especially with what we're going through in these times," said Devers, 36, who won her first 60-meter indoor hurdles title.

The U.S. showing overshadowed a world record in the women's pole vault by Russia's Svetlana Feofanova, who cleared 15 feet, 9 inches to reclaim the mark from Stacy Dragila. It was the only world record set at the championships.

The United States made a big turnaround after four runners were disqualified for lane violations on the first day. The coaches called a team meeting afterward.

"Today it seemed like every time I looked up we had a winner," said Tom Pappas, who won the heptathlon for his first world title.

Washington took almost two years off because of injuries, illness and personal matters. He testified last summer against his sister in her murder trial. She was sentenced to life in prison for the death of her 18-month-old daughter.

"The challenges of life -- if you persevere, they will just make you stronger," he said.

Jacobs, 39, pulled away on the bell lap to win the 1,500 in a championship record 4 minutes 1.67 seconds. Britain's Kelly Holmes was second in 4:02.66.

Jacobs, who set the world indoor record of 3:59.98 in Boston on Feb. 1, has been running for 23 years.

"Despite being an old lady now, my heart is still strong and that keeps my body strong," she said.

Allen Johnson gave the United States a sweep of the 60 hurdles. He won in 7.47 seconds, .02 faster than Olympic champion Anier Garcia. Johnson clipped the last two hurdles and thought he had lost.