Alan Webb, now a 21-year-old running on the track where he broke Jim Ryun's high school mile record four years ago, ran the fastest mile ever by an American in the United States yesterday at the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet in Eugene, Ore.
Webb's time of 3 minutes 50.85 seconds was also the fastest by a U.S. runner anywhere in seven years.
Nick Willis from New Zealand finished second, well back in 3:53.51. Elkanah Angwenyi, from Kenya, took third in 3:54.52. Eight men broke four minutes.
Webb finished fifth in the Bowerman Mile in 2001 when he ran 3:53.42 as a high school senior.
This year, he came in as the favorite by virtue of his world-leading 3:32.73 for 1,500 meters on June 8 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
In the women's 100 meters, Marion Jones finished a distant fifth behind winner Inger Miller. Miller was charged with a false start, but when the race began came on at the end to nip 37-year-old Gail Devers, the two-time Olympic champion in the event who was running her first 100 of the season. Both were timed in 11.05 seconds.
Chryste Gaines, one of those notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that they could be banned from the Olympics, was third in 11.06. Latashya Colander was fourth at 11.10, with Jones fifth at 11.12.
Jones's boyfriend, Tim Montgomery, also entered in the Prefontaine meet, and Gaines are among the athletes who have been notified by USADA that proceedings have begun that could lead to them being suspended for two years. Jones has not received such official notification. Both she and Montgomery testified before the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative grand jury.
Felix Sanchez, the 2003 world champion, earned his 36th consecutive victory in the 400-hurdles, winning in 48.12 seconds, the world's second-fastest time this year. The New York-born hurdler, who grew up in Southern California but competes for the Dominican Republic, is undefeated in the event dating from 2001.
Koji Murofushi of Japan had four of the top six hammer throws in the world this year, topped by a world-leading 271 feet 21/4 inches. All five of his throws broke the Hayward Field record of 266-0 set 12 years ago by Lance Deal, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist.
Magera's Aim Is True
Newcomer John Magera secured a spot on the 2004 U.S. archery team, finishing third in trials at Mason, Ohio.
Magera, 34, has participated in archery since childhood, but took up the Olympic-style recurve bow only last June. He has participated in only four tournaments with the recurve.
"My only goal was to get into the top 16 and if I did that, I would've been completely happy going home," said Magera, who edged Jason McKittrick by 11 points. "In the back of my mind, I thought I might be able to make the top eight, but never expected this."
The men's competition was won by Vic Wunderle, who led from the first day of the trials. Wunderle won silver and bronze medals at the 2000 Games. Butch Johnson was second and will compete on his fourth consecutive Olympic team.
Jennifer Nichols, who dominated the women's competition from Day 1, finished first by 259 points over Stephanie White Arnold. Two-time Olympian Janet Dykman, 50, was third.
The Other Cycling Armstrong
Kristin Armstrong earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic women's cycling team by winning the Elite Women's Road Race in Redlands, Calif. She edged time trial national champion Christine Thorburn by about half a bike length, finishing the 73-mile course in 3 hours 26 minutes 13 seconds.
"The Olympics, man, I've been dreaming about that since I was a kid and it definitely tops it all," Armstrong said. "It hasn't hit me quite yet."
Dede Barry will join Armstrong and Thorburn on the U.S. women's road team.
Jason McCartney, who battled mechanical problems early in the 118-mile men's selection race and leg cramps in its latter stages, won by 61 seconds over David Zabriskie, finishing in 5:09:57.
McCartney completes a men's Olympic road team that includes five-time defending Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie and Bobby Julich. Each prequalified rider is prepping for the Tour and skipped these trials.
Kastor Takes Half-Marathon Title
Deena Kastor won the U.S. women's half-marathon championship in Duluth, Minn.
Kastor, who will compete in Athens in the marathon, easily took the race in 1:10:30. Last weekend, Kastor won a 10-kilometer road race in New York City.
"I wanted to run a fast time of under 1:10, but with a slight headwind I went to Plan B, which was to just run a strong race," said Kastor, who holds the American records at 5K, 10K, 15K and the marathon. . . .
Yolanda Griffith, a center-forward for the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs, was the final member to be named to the U.S. women's basketball team. Griffith was the leading rebounder on the gold medal-winning 2000 Olympic team. . . .
The Olympic torch arrived for a five-borough tour of New York yesterday, two months before the Athens Games open and eight years before the city hopes to host its own Olympics.
From New York, the torch heads to Montreal.