Decision time is near for Jacobs

Winner at 5,000 meters has set her sights on Slaney's mark in 1,500


U. S. Olympic Trials

July 23, 2000|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Is Regina Jacobs going to run the 1,500 meters at the Olympics in Sydney, or the 5,000?

That's the question everyone asked late Friday night, after Jacobs trimmed more than seven seconds off her American record in the 5,000. Her time of 14:45.35 was the fastest in the world this year, but Jacobs' intention has been to run only the 1,500 in Australia.

When Tom Craig, Jacobs' husband and coach, wavered on the subject, it was news to Jacobs.

"There goes our marital bliss," she said. "I need a cell phone so I can call the Hyatt and have the keys changed."

As much as Jacobs cherishes her American record in the 5,000, she covets the mark in the 1,500. Mary Slaney ran 3:57.12 in 1983, and Jacobs wants that record to tumble.

"A lot of people say this is my race, and why don't I run it," Jacobs said of the 5,000. "But I have a lot of unfinished business in the 1,500. That has been something I've been dreaming about for a long time, to win an Olympic medal in the 1,500 and possibly get under Slaney's record."

That's why Jacobs, who is 36 and getting better with age, wanted to shy away from the 5,000. The first round of that event will be run through Sept. 22, the final three days later. The 1,500 will consist of three rounds, and be spread over four days, from Sept. 27-30.

That's too much to ask even of Jacobs, who's also one of America's best in the 800.

Age was also served in the women's triple jump yesterday, as Sheila Hudson, 33, closed in on gaining her second Olympic berth with a runner-up finish. She needs to meet the Olympic "A" qualifying standard of 46 feet, 5 inches by Sept. 11 to earn a trip to Sydney. She jumped 45-8 1/2 yesterday.

"This is at the top of my list," said Hudson, who was beaten only by Nicole Gamble, 23. "The last couple of years have been the most trying of my career. To come here and place in the top three means more than I can possibly express."

Hudson competed in her first national meet in 1985. She set the American record of 47-3 1/2 in 1996, but hasn't come close to that distance since.

Happy Jett

Kisha Jett was disappointed on the opening day of the trials June 13, when she failed to get out of the first round of the 100, so the former Hammond High star is delighted to be in the semis of today's 200. The Florida grad, who still lives in Gainesville, ran 23.36 in her preliminary.

"I hadn't run a 200 in a couple of months," Jett said. "I made the [trials] final in 1996, and you don't realize how significant that is when it happens. I was a sophomore in college, with nothing to lose."


Tom Pappas upset Chris Huffins in the decathlon late Friday night. Huffins, third in the world championships last year, turned a 199-point lead into a 119-point deficit in the pole vault and javelin, the eighth and ninth events. ... Hudson went to Cal-Berkeley, Jacobs Stanford. ... Gail Devers had the fastest qualifying time in the women's hurdles, 12.57. No one else was under 12.80.

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