Stacy Dragila upstages Jones, breaks pole vault record twice


PALO ALTO, California, AFP

Stacy Dragila upstaged compatriot Marion Jones as the star of the U.S. track and field meet here on Saturday night when the American broke her own pole vault record twice. Dragila set a new world mark at 4.71m and 30 minutes broke again at 4.81m. Her own previous mark of 4.70 was set in May in Pocatello, Idaho. The Olympic gold medallist and world champion then missed three attempts at 4.88m. “I just felt really good today,” said Dragila. “I think I got a little excited. I was over the bar, then I hit it. I felt great off the ground today. Visually, I saw things the way I want to see them.”

A sellout crowd of 5,375 watched Dragila set the world records. “I think it is wonderful,” said Jones, who won the women’s 200m in 22.70sec, the third fastest time by an American this year. “This says a lot about fans and their support for track and field. It was extraordinary.” Jones got off to a fast start and held off a late charge by Juliet Campbell of Jamaica who finished second in 22.97. Jones, who won three Olympic gold and two bronze medals last year, will be concentrating on the 200m at the USA Track and Field championships in Eugene, Oregon, beginning June 21. “Overall, I felt very good. I had a good start. I have to work on some turnover in the next couple of weeks, but Trevor (Graham, her coach) and I are confident I’ll run well at nationals,” added Jones. In other highlights, John Godina threw 21.95m to win the men’s shot put. Kenya’s Luke Kipkosgei came home in 708.72 in the 3000m, the fastest time in the world this year, while fellow Kenyan Raymond Yator ran away with the 3000m steeplechase in 801.76. World Indoor Champion Terrence Trammell ran a season best 13.36 in the 110 hurdles to beat Dawane Wallace, who entered the meet as the world leader in the event at 13.30. Chris Williams took the 200m in 20.52sec after coming from behind to beat beat Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist Jon Drummond. In the women’s 400m hurdles, Natasha Danvers of Britain dominated clocking 55.37 to beat 1996 Olympic bronze medallist Tonja Buford-Bailey in 56.05.