-- Terrence Trammell shook his head and smiled. He had run the third-fastest time in the world this year in the 110-meter hurdles final Friday at the USA Track and Field Championships and he still couldn't beat Allen Johnson. Dominique Arnold posted the second-fastest time in the world. He couldn't beat him, either.
That's because Johnson finished the race in 12.99 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year. It was Johnson's 10th time under 13 seconds, and it gave him his 11th U.S. title.
"The old man, he just won't go away," said Trammell, who finished in 13.02. "He's just going to run until he can't do it anymore."
Johnson, 34, can now begin the chase for his fifth world outdoor title. Arnold, clocked in 13.01, called Johnson "the greatest of all time," and then all three began predicting a U.S. sweep at the world championships in Helsinki in August.
"We're bringing a broom to Helsinki," Johnson said. This race "was definitely to send a message to the rest of the world. There are times they are going to have to deal with all summer."
Friday's race was so close Johnson, running from Lane 2, said he had no idea he had won when he crossed the finish line. "I could see dark colors over to my right -- I knew it was Dominique and Terrence," he said. "So I just kept on running. Toward the middle [of the race] I was getting a little nervous. Coming off the last hurdle, I didn't know if I had won or not."
Said Trammell: "Even though I was third, it feels like a victory to me. I ran a 13.02."
Clay Wins With a Flourish
Bryan Clay, the 2004 Olympic silver medal winner, hasn't just dominated the decathlon here, he also broke a 26-year-old world record in the process. Not only did Clay win his second national title Friday night, tallying 8,506 points, he added a bit of trivia to his pursuit when he launched a discuss throw of 183 feet 3 inches. That heave surpassed the 1979 world record held by Bulgarian Razvigor Yankov.
Clay has thrived in a field lacking Tom Pappas, the 2003 world champion, who has not competed this season because of shoulder surgery.
"I think if I'm at the top of my game," Clay said, "I'm definitely going to be tough to beat." . . .
Kerron Clement, 19, made his U.S. outdoor championships debut, foregoing the event in which he holds a world record for the one he simply enjoys more. Clement, who stunned the international track world this winter when he broke Michael Johnson's indoor record in the 400 (44.57 seconds), skipped that event to concentrate on his favorite, the 400 hurdles.
He has said he would rather be the next Edwin Moses than the next Michael Johnson, but Friday he said wanted to perfect the 400 hurdles before turning his attention also to the 400. In Friday's first-round, Clement finished first in his heat but second overall with a time of 49.67. James Carter posted the best time of the day (49.65). "Today was kind of a windy in the backstretch," said Clement, the 2004 world junior champion in the event. . . .
Tim Broe won a fast 5,000 final in 13 minutes 12.76 seconds. . . . Grace Upshaw won the women's long jump with a leap of 21 feet 113/4 inches.