Another Rough Day At Nationals For Tiger Track

The men's team continues to have its struggles at the nationals while the women's squads had some highs and lows.

Austin, Tex.--The men's team continued its struggles on Friday at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

On Thursday, long jumper Leevan Sands, the defending champion and favorite, didn't score.

On Friday, sophomore Marc Burns, the fastest qualifier in the 100 prelims with a time of 9.99, did not race in the finals because of a problem with his back that had bothered him earlier in the season. The race was won by Tyson Gay, who was timed in 10.06, to put the Razorbacks in the team lead with 25 points.

Auburn, which was ranked second nationally coming into the meet, goes into the final day of competition still looking for its first points. The women's team, ranked 22nd, has done better, putting eight points on the scoreboard, but has had some disappointments, too. The AU women are tied for 14th place.

Shelly-Ann Gallimore had a good day in the triple jump.

Stacy Martin closed her collegiate career with a fifth place finish in the discus, scoring four points for the women's team. Her best toss was 181 feet, five inches to set a new AU women's record. The winner, Becky Breisch of Nebraska, threw the discus 204 feet, five inches, more than 13 feet longer than the runnerup, Beth Mallory of Alabama.

Junior Fana Ashby scored one point for the women's team with her eighth place finish in the 100 meters with a time of 11.43. Lauryn Williams of Miami won the race in 10.97.

"Today was a tough day," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. "We had a few highlights with Stacy Martin, Fana Ashby and the triple jumpers. This is a very tough competition; we will just have to learn from our experiences at the championship this year."

Stacy Martin

In the preliminaries of the triple jump, Sands was the leading qualifier for Saturday's finals with a jump of 56 feet, four inches. In the women's competition, Shelly-Ann Gallimore was also the top qualifier with a leap of 44 feet, five 1/4 inches.

Maurice Smith does the Fosbury Flop method in the high jump on Friday.

Halfway through the decathlon, Maurice Smith is in fifth place with 4,032 points, within easy strike distance of the leaders at just 200 points out of first place. One of his best first-day performances was a personal-record time of 10.87 in the 100 meters. He also had a personal-best throw of 51 feet, 2 1/4 inches in the shot put. He also did a personal longest leap in the long jump, going 23 feet, five 1/4 inches.

Smith didn't fare as well in the high jump, going 6-4 1/4 and he ran through a leg cramp in the final event of the day to finish at 52.31 in the 400 meters.

In other news on Auburn competitors:

*Damion Berry was not one of the eight finalists for the 400-meter finals. Hr ran a time of 46.19 that placed him in 10th in the preliminary.

*Freshman Edis Elkasevic threw the discus 181 feet, six inches and did not advance to the finals of the event. He finished 15th overall. He had previously qualified for the shot put finals that will be held Saturday night.

*Auburn's Kaylah Burks did not clear the opening height in the women's high jump.

*AU's top women's hurdler, Josanne Lucas, did not qualify for the finals when she fell near the end of the 400-meter race. Markita James ran a 58.24 in the event and did not make the finals.


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