Rejuvenated, rehydrated Lewis advances in 200 Track and field trials notebook

Olympics

June 22, 1996|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

ATLANTA -- As he crossed the finish line after last night's opening heat of the 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials, Carl Lewis had an extra bounce in his step and a broad smile on his face.

His performance wasn't the Lewis of 1984 or 1988, but it wasn't the Lewis of last Saturday's 100-meter final or Wednesday's long jump final, either.

"I was very dehydrated last week and was cramping up quite a bit [when he finished last in the 100], and today was the first day I felt like myself," said Lewis. "I felt very relaxed the whole way."

It showed. Lewis, who finished third in the long jump to qualify for his fifth Olympic team, led most of the way before easing up the last 15 meters to finish second in 20.30 seconds. But the toughest day of these trials will come today for Lewis, with the quarterfinal and semifinal heats scheduled within 80 minutes of each other this afternoon.

Lewis, 34, said the thought of dropping out of the 200 after qualifying in the long jump only crossed his mind briefly. But after talking with his longtime coach, Tom Tellez, in Houston, and taking some intravenous liquids the past couple of days, he decided to go ahead.

"Coach T said, 'You've worked too hard to stop now,' " Lewis recalled. "I have my confidence boost for all the events."

Local winners

Former Morgan State star Rochelle Stevens and former Hammond High star Kisha Jett, now a sophomore at the University of Florida, advanced in the women's 200 meters.

Stevens, who lives in Memphis, Tenn., had made it to the finals of the 400 meters; Jett had gone to the semifinals of the 100.

"It was definitely to my advantage running in the 100," said Jett, who nearly won her heat last night and finished second. "I knew what the atmosphere was like. I knew what the track felt like."

It nearly wasn't a good night for Matt Holthaus. The former Wilde Lake and James Madison University star squeezed out the last of six spots in his heat of the 1,500-meter semifinals.

Miscellaneous

In the women's 1,500-meter semifinal, American record-holder Mary Slaney finished seventh in her heat and was eliminated. Slaney, 37, has qualified in the 5,000. . . . In the opening heat of the 110-meter hurdles, two-time Olympic gold medalist Roger Kingdom returned to the track on which he finished last in a Grand Prix meet last month to finish second in 13.34 seconds. . . . Gwyn Coogan, who finished fourth in the women's marathon trials earlier this year, was eliminated in the 10,000. Her husband, Mark, who qualified in the men's marathon, was seventh in the 5,000.

Pub Date: 6/22/96

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