EUGENE, Ore. - Sprinter Marion Jones, hurdlers Gail Devers and Allen Johnson and pole vaulter Lawrence Johnson climbed to familiar positions at the top rung of the victory platform.
Tireless distance runner Regina Jacobs won her second gold medal of the U.S. National Outdoor Track and Field Championships and nearly added a third before the curtain came down yesterday on the final day of the four-day meet at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.
But Bernard Williams took the day off.
The 23-year-old graduate of Baltimore's Carver High School, who won the NCAA 100-meter title last year for the University of Florida, and earned an Olympic gold medal as second runner on the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team at the Sydney Games, had been tabbed as a potential 200-meter gold medalist at the world championships in Edmonton, Alberta, in early August.
That won't happen after Williams bowed out of the 200-meter final, a race staged in drizzly conditions yesterday. It was slated to be an eight-man race, but only seven - led by Shawn Crawford (20.54), Ramon Clay (20.60) and Kevin Little (20.64), the 1-2-3 finishers - wound up running it.
Williams is still going to Edmonton - after running a close final to Tim Montgomery in the 100-meter final Friday - and still has a shot at two gold medals at the world championships, in the individual 100 meters and the 4x100 relay.
But the 200 would have represented another golden opportunity. He clocked a 20.25 in winning his preliminary race and a 20.50 in running second to Crawford in his semifinal Saturday.
No official statement was forthcoming on Williams' scratch from the 200.
"It would have been a better race with Bernard in it, that's for sure," said Crawford, a Clemson graduate who won the 200 at the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon in March.
Jones, the five-time Olympic medalist in Sydney (three gold, two bronze), limited herself to the 200 here and made it look easy. Her victory in 22.52 seconds beat Latasha Jenkins, who ran 22.88. Jones last lost a 200-meter race in 1995.
Devers, winner of three world championship gold medals in the 100-meter hurdles, was the class of the race, as usual. At 12.91, she was the only woman to break 13 seconds.
Allen Johnson, the 1996 Olympic high hurdles champion, but fourth at the Sydney Games, looked sharper than he'd been in a long time, taking the 110 high hurdles final in 13.22, relegating favored Terrance Trammell (13.46) to a distant second.
Lawrence Johnson, the 2001 world indoor pole vault champion, shrugged off some early runway difficulties to take the title at 19 feet, 2 1/4 inches, with Olympic champion Nick Hysong third at 18-6 1/2 .
A day after she won the 1,500 final in 4:06.12, Jacobs ran down Hazel Clark to win the 800 meters in 2:00.43, the fastest time by an American this year.
About 70 minutes later, she stepped back on the track to run the 5,000 meter final.
But this proved too much of a stretch. The legally blind Marla Runyan, who can only see other runners peripherally, bolted to an early lead and went on to win in 15:08.03. Jacobs still mustered a late kick to take second in 15:10.78. Still, she was the first woman in 17 years to win the 800 and 1,500.
"Running the 5,000 was kind of a last-minute decision," said Jacobs. "I told Tom [Craig, her husband and coach], `Let's just go for it.' Plus, I wanted to do something historic."