"He has worked really hard all year and today was no exception," head coach Stanley Redwine said. "All of the odds were against him because Tyson Gay (Arkansas) was the hometown favorite. He did an exceptional job and I am really proud of him."
"This championship means more to me than any other," Bookman said. "It feels good to know that I have the fastest time in the world because it shows that all of my hard work payed off. It turned out great for me and now I can focus on my ultimate goal of making the 2004 Olympic team."
This is the second national title that Bookman has claimed and is the third overall (2003 Outdoor). The national title caps an impressive indoor season. The Dickinson, Texas native also won the 200-meter dash title at the 2004 Big 12 Indoor Championships in a time of 20.58. Bookman's time broke the Big 12 meet record and Devaney Center record.
Kansas' Leo Bookman, right, crosses the finish line ahead of Arkansas' Tyson Gay, left, during the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., Friday, March 12, 2004. Bookman won with a time of 20.42 seconds and Gay finished fifth at 20.58. (AP Photo/April L. Brown)