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USA Track and Field Championships : Myricks Gets Two Medals--One New, One Old

June 19, 1988|Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Larry Myricks got two medals while competing in only one event, Sheila Echols completed a rare double and Mac Wilkins won his record-tying seventh men's discus title Saturday in the Mobil Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Myricks was presented with the bronze medal for finishing third in the long jump in the 1987 World Championships at Rome nine months ago before he earned a gold medal for winning his first national championship in the men's 200 meters.

The three-time Olympian, a 1979 World Cup champion and 1979-80 national champion in the long jump, was presented his World Championship medal belatedly by Dr. LeRoy Walker, president of The Athletics Congress, the national governing body for the sport.

The medal originally had been awarded to Giovanni Evangelisti, but the Italian relinquished it after it was discovered that officials had mis-measured the jump on which he was given third place.

Myricks, who originally had finished fourth, then was declared the bronze medalist.

"It was great to finally get the (bronze) medal," Myricks said. "It's an emotional thing. I've been waiting for it for a long time."

He also said that getting the medal before the 200 pumped him up for the race.

"It made me go out there and run a little faster," said Myricks, who led all the way and was timed in 20.50 into a strong headwind.

Echols, the 1987 NCAA long jump champion from Louisiana State, won the event Saturday after winning the 100-meter dash Friday night. It was the first double by a woman in those two events in the national championships in 25 years.

Echols won with a leap of 21 feet 1 1/2 inches Saturday. She had won the 100 in 11.04 after running her semifinal heat in a personal-best 11.01

The last woman to win both the 100 and the long jump in this meet was Edith McGuire in 1963.

Four others have done the same double since women began competing in the national championships in 1923, including Stella Walsh, who did it in 1930, 1943, 1944 and 1948.

This was the third year in a row that Echols competed in both events in the national championships, but the first time that she had won either competition.

Wilkins, the 1976 Olympic champion and 1984 silver medalist, won the discus at 214-2, ending John Powell's string of five straight national titles.

Wilkins, 37, won his first national championship in 1973, then began a streak of five in a row in 1976.

Powell, who will be 41 next Saturday and won his first two national titles in 1974-75, finished second this time at 210-0, his best throw of the year.

Although the two live only a short distance apart near San Jose, Calif., and have been competing against each other for many years, they are bitter rivals. So Wilkins cherished his latest victory over the four-time Olympian and winner of two bronze medals.

"To win this meet means more to me than winning the (Olympic) Trials," Wilkins said. "It's the seventh time, and only one other person has done that--John (Powell).

"Over the last 16 years, we've won 14 of them."

Mike Conley, the 1984 Olympic silver medalist and 1987 World Championship silver medalist, won his second straight national championship in the triple jump. Conley won on his final jump, sailing 56-11, the best by an American this year.

World record holder Willie Banks finished second at 56-3 3/4, his best of 1988.

Also taking the American lead for the year was Joetta Clark, winner of the women's 800 meters in 1:59.79.

Doug Nordquist broke his meet record in the men's high jump, clearing 7-8. He then missed three times at 7-9 3/4, a half-inch more than the American record.

Other men's winners included Doug Padilla in the 5,000 meters in 13:42.69; Kory Tarpenning in the pole vault at 18-6 1/2; Brian Diemer in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:25.69; Tim Simon of Illinois in the 400 in 44.92; Mark Deady of Indiana in the 1,500 in 3:39.41; Ken Flax in the hammer throw at 256-3; Ed Wade of Oklahoma in the shot put at 63-8, and Tim Lewis in the 20-kilometer walk in 1:29:34.

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