Campbell, Brown Try To Make Jamaican Team

FAYETTEVILLE -- Veronica Campbell could use a sore hamstring to make the World Championships on the strength of her Olympic gold medals last summer in the 200 and 4x100-meter relay.

But the former Lady'Back doesn't want to make the Jamaican team that way and so she'll run the 200 and the 100 this weekend.

"They have that system, but she's not wanting to use that system," said Arkansas sprints coach Lance Brauman, who coached Campbell at Barton County Community College and during her gold medal runs.

"She wants to run and make the team like everybody else has to. It's business as usual. We don't even want to talk about the other side of that coin."

Though she has the third-ranked time in the 200 this season, Campbell is ranked No. 1 in the world in the event she won an NCAA indoor title for the Lady'Backs in 2004.

Campbell, who is still enrolled at Arkansas and will graduate next May, is ranked second in the IAAF's 100 list and has the world's top time this year at 10.96 posted May 22 in Carson, Calif., the only sub.-11 second time so far this season.

Brauman said how Campbell feels this weekend will determine how aggressively she pursues the daunting double she successfully completed with her magical ride in Athens when she won the 200, took bronze in the 100 and anchored Jamaica to the relay win.

She developed hamstring tightness about three weeks ago and they've been nursing it along carefully since.

"If she can be ready to go down at their trials, we'll make a decision based off how she feels during warmups," Brauman. "One race at a time. It's nothing serious, but it's a little tightness."

Campbell and longtime boyfriend Omar Brown will both be trying to make the Jamaican team this weekend.

Brown, who has completed his eligibility after he anchored 13 straight wins for the Arkansas 4x100-meter relay team, will run the 200.

Brown is the second-ranked Jamaican behind rising star Usain Bolt and the field has been narrowed with defending champion Steve Mullings of Mississippi State banned for two years because of a failed drug test after his win last summer.

Also, Astafa Powell, the IAAF's No. 1 overall athlete, just broke the 100 meters world record at 9.77 and may not run the 200.

Brauman said Chris Williams and Ricardo Williams are two veterans who could rise up into the void, but Brown is ready to make the team.

"Hopefully he can put together a couple races and make their team and take the next part of his career the right way by making the World Championships," Brauman said.

Two former Razorbacks who have been injured will be making their outdoor debuts soon.

Four-time NCAA champion Daniel Lincoln, the 2004 Olympic Trials champion and an Olympic finalist in the steeplechase in Athens, will make his first appearance in the event Thursday after recovering from a stress fracture in his lower leg.

Arkansas coach John McDonnell said he expects Lincoln, the first American to win three straight NCAA steeple titles, to make the top three and make a run at breaking the American record of 8:09.17 by Henry Marsh. Lincoln set his best of 8:15.02 last summer at the Trials.

"If he makes the team this weekend, he's got plenty of time to be in tip-top shape by the World Championships," McDonnell said.

Alistair Cragg, a seven-time NCAA champion and the 2005 European Indoor 3,000 champion, has battled a stress fracture in his lower back but is back and assured a spot on the Irish team thanks to his indoor win.

He'll run the 5,000 next month at the Irish Trials.

"He's feeling good about himself," McDonnell said.

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