Stars Highlight Saturday Action In Austin

AUSTIN, Texas -- Just like the song says, the stars are big and bright in Texas.

The 78th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays will be highlighted Saturday by the appearance of six Olympic champions and a host of other Olympic, U.S. and World medalists.

USA Red, White and Blue teams as well as professional groups like HSI will compete in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays.

Olympic gold medalists Maurice Greene, Allen Johnson, Derrick Brew, former Lady Longhorns star Sanya Richards, Inger Miller and former Baylor star Jeremy Wariner will headline the professionals competing.

Other Olympic medalists include Allyson Felix, Lauryn Williams and Terrence Trammell.

Greene won the gold in the 100 in 2000 and is the former world record holder at that distance. He won bronze at the 2004 Olympics in the 100.

Brew ran on the winning 4x400 team and Allen Johnson is the most decorated hurdler ever with the 1996 Olympic gold to his credit and seven World championships.

Wariner won the NCAA 400 last season for Baylor and then shocked the world by winning gold over the same distance in Athens. Wariner also ran on the winning 4x400 team.

Richards won five NCAA titles for Texas and ran the third leg on the winning 4x400 relay in Athens last summer. Miller was on the gold medal 4x100 team in 1996.

Felix, the youngest of America's rising sprint stars, won the 200 at the Olympic Trials and took silver behind former Lady'Back Veronica Campbell in the 200 at the Athens games.

Williams, a 5-foot-3 dynamo from Miami, won the NCAA 100 last year and beat Campbell in the 100 in Athens, taking silver to Campbell's bronze.

Trammell won silver at the Olympics in the 110-meter hurdles in both 2000 and 2004.

The biggest star in the open events will be 2003 U.S. 400-meter hurdle champion Bershawn Jackson, who was the most outstanding athlete of the 2004 Texas Relays for his winning performance in his specialty and his anchor leg on the winning 4x400 relay for St. Augustine's.

Arkansas' men have won 44 titles in Texas Relays history.

The first was the 4x1,500 back in 1951 and the most recent was the 2004 distance medley relay title.

The Razorbacks have won the 4x1,500 relay the most times, 15 in all, and have won six in a row.

Arkansas has won every relay title other than the 4x400 at the Texas Relays at least once. The Razorbacks won the 4x100 and the 4x200 for the only times in 1985.

Arkansas has won the sprint medley relay (200, 200, 400, 800) five times, the 4x800 eight times and the distance medley relay (1,200, 400, 800, 1,600) 12 times.

The Razorbacks own records in the 4x1,500 (15:08.67 in 1999) and the sprint medley (3:12.13, 2000).

With a team of Wallace Spearmon Jr., Tyson Gay, Terry Gatson and Omar Brown, Arkansas will make a run at its first 4x400 title at Texas.

Spearmon (2) and Gay (1) have three NCAA titles between them, Gatson has run the third-fastest 400 in collegiate history and Brown was an All-American fifth in the NCAA indoor 200 last month.

Finding Texas memorabilia in Austin isn't hard, and even the most hole-in-the wall Tex-Mex joints have their fair share.

A Wednesday afternoon lunch at tiny El Patio on Guadalupe turned up a framed Texas-Arkansas game program from the 1970 season.

That was a year after the famed "Big Shootout" between Texas and Arkansas in Fayetteville attended by sitting president Richard Nixon.

There by the cash register was Nixon on the program cover posing with former Longhorns coach Darrell Royal, who will apparently "always be a friend" of El Patio.

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