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Fast Start for New Track

Greene finishes men's 100 meters in 9.94 seconds and White clocks 10.79 in women's 100 before capacity crowd at inaugural event in Carson sports complex.

June 02, 2003|John Ortega | Times Staff Writer

Maurice Greene is trying to regain his status as the best men's 100-meter runner in the world, while Kelli White is just emerging in the women's 100.

But both were equally dominant Sunday in the Home Depot Track and Field Invitational before a capacity crowd of 10,094 at the Home Depot Center at Carson.

The meet was the inaugural event at the $150-million, 85-acre sports complex on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Greene ran 9.94 seconds to defeat J.J. Johnson by 0.11 of a second. White's wind-aided time of 10.79 gave her a 0.17 margin of victory over second-place Torri Edwards on a warm afternoon.

High school sprint sensation Allyson Felix of Los Angeles Baptist in North Hills finished seventh in the women's 100 in 11.35 after getting off to a bad start.

Ana Guevara of Mexico drew the largest applause of any athlete at a meet where Mexican flags were in abundance and chants of "Ana, Ana, Ana" preceded her victory in the women's 400 in 49.62. But Greene and White were equally dominant in their races.

"I just wanted to get a good, efficient start and just work on my speed in the middle and work on coming home," Greene said after running the second-fastest time in the world this year. "And I think I did that very well."

Greene had finished third behind Kim Collins of St. Kitts and fellow American John Capel in the Adidas Track Classic in Portland, Ore., on May 17, but he surged into the lead after 40 meters Sunday and was never seriously challenged during the last half of the race.

"I think I put a lot of pressure on myself at Portland because I wanted to do so much," said Greene, the former world-record holder at 9.79. "But I just told myself that I was going to come out here and have fun ... and run fast and just let it happen, don't try and force it."

White was the No. 4-ranked women's 200 sprinter in the world last year, but her best performances this season have come in the 100.

She won the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in 10.97 in April and the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., in 10.96 -- the fastest non-wind-aided time in the world this year -- May 24 before dominating a good field Sunday.

"I knew that when I trained on the track yesterday that we were going to run extremely fast," White said. "And I said to myself, 'I'm glad that we were finally going to get on the Mondo surface,' because those tracks are a little bit less work going down them."

White got off a good start and then powered away from the field in the final 70 meters.

"It's weird because I've been doing a lot of 400-meter workouts," White said of her success in the 100. "So I'm a lot stronger than I've been in previous years, and it's helped me in the 100 which has surprised me because I was actually very disappointed with my 200 meters in Mexico. So it's weird how it's turned out so far."

Felix ran a world junior record of 22.11, the fastest time in the world this year, in the race in Mexico City in which White was third in 22.33. But Felix was eighth -- and last -- coming out the blocks Sunday and never recovered.

"My 100 needs a lot of work," Felix said. "There's just a lot of parts in my race that I can improve upon. You could see that in the race."

Americans Kevin Toth, Allen Johnson, Regina Jacobs and Miesha McKelvy had some of the other top performances in the meet, the third of five on USA Track and Field's Golden Spike Tour.

Toth, the world leader in the men's shotput at 74 feet 4 1/2 inches, won Sunday at 71-2.

Johnson, the 1996 Olympic champion and three-time world champion in the 110 high hurdles, won in a wind-aided 13.20.

Jacobs outkicked Suzy Favor Hamilton to win the women's 1,500 in 4:03.43, the second-fastest outdoor time in the world this year.

McKelvy won the women's 100 hurdles in a wind-aided 12.58 in a race that highly regarded Melissa Morrison did not finish.

Olympic champion Stacy Dragila won the women's pole vault, but swirling wind conditions led to a disappointing winning height of 14-9.

Calvin Harrison won the men's 400 in 45.02 after world leader Tyree Washington did not show up for the meet.

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