Hamilton races tough and wins 1,500

June 16, 1991|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Sun Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK -- Suzy Favor Hamilton is 5 feet 3 and weighs 103 pounds, but you wouldn't want to meet her running around a curve on a track.

Yesterday, in the heat of the women's 1,500-meter final at the USA/Mobil Championships, Hamilton darted inside with 200 meters remaining and elbowed her way past PattiSue Plumer to win in 4 minutes, 6.13 seconds.

"I felt like I was going to fall," Hamilton said. "That made it exciting."

Hamilton's daring manuever was nothing new. She learned a rough-and-tumble racing style when she attended the University Wisconsin.

"I hate sissy runners," Wisconsin coach Peter Tegan said. "There are too many sissies running in our sport. You have to make your own holes. You have to do some rough running."

Plumer wasn't thrilled by the outcome, but she accepted the elbow to the ribs and the verdict at the wire.

"She saw an opening and decided to go for it," said Plumer, who finished second in the 3,000 and won the 5,000. "It was one of those things. But it's a bad habit for her to get into."

Hamilton, who recently returned from her honeymoon in Hawaii, is tanned, rested and ready for the World Championships in Tokyo.

"It was a little too hot to train there," she said. "I had to go indoors in the health spas and pay to run on a treadmill. I guess it paid off."

* All of New York could have eavesdropped on the one-way conversation between Jackie Joyner-Kersee and her husband and coach, Bob Kersee. Joyner-Kersee won her third national long-jump title despite a battle from her husband. After straining a lower back muscle and fouling on her first jump, Joyner-Kersee leaped 22 feet, 8 inches on her second to move comfortably ahead of the competition at Downing Stadium.

Still, she wanted to jump some more. Her husband had other ideas.

"He was hollering at me from the stands," she said. "He said, 'Jackie! Jackie! Jackie! I'm coming over this rail. Jackie! Jackie, you don't want me to embarrass you, do you? I'm coming over this rail.'

"So I took off down the runway before he could get over the rail," she said. After fouling, Joyner-Kersee passed on her final two attempts.

* Gwen Torrence won the 200 meters in 22.38, but a 15-year-ol high school sophomore made a blazing national debut. Marion Jones of Oxnard, Calif., set a national junior record of 22.76 to finish fourth.

* Kim Batten passed Sandra Farmer-Patrick on the final hurdle to win the 400-meter hurdles in 54.18 seconds. It was the second-fastest American performance, and the fastest time in the world this season.

* The 800 featured the meet's most spectacular finish -- a double knockout and a late pass. Delisa Floyd outleaned Meredith Rainey at the tape to win in 1:59.82, and both runners crashed to the track. Joetta Clark finished third by passing Celeste Halliday and manuevering neatly around the fallen runners.

* Lillie Leatherwood saved the best for last. In a final sprint, she held off Jearl Miles and Diane Dixon to win the 400 in 49.66 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.

"Everyone should watch out," she said. "The American runners are going to be tough in Tokyo."

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