3 Marylanders remain in hunt for team spots

Carter in hurdles final

Williams, O'Connell gain

Track notebook

Olympics

July 11, 2004|By Elliott Denman | Elliott Denman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - It's two down and the big one to go for James Carter.

The 2004 U.S. Olympian out of Baltimore's Mervo Tech claimed his spot in today's 400-meter hurdles final at the Olympic trials with a 48.45 semifinal victory yesterday at Sacramento State University's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.

But he knows he'll have to run one of the greatest races of his life to earn a place on the Olympic team for a second straight time.

"I think it's going to take a time in the 47s to win it, and I think I'm ready to run it," said Carter, the fourth-place finisher in the 2000 Sydney Games whose career best for the event is 47.57 in 2002.

"I was totally controlled today," he said. "I turned it on when I needed to turn it on [fighting off LSU's Bennie Brazell over the final two hurdles]."

Williams looking good

Bernard Williams considers himself in a groove - fully focused, fully prepared.

And that's the place to be as he prepares for today's semifinals in the men's 100 meters, with the final to follow.

Williams, the former Carver Vo-Tech and University of Florida star who was a gold medalist in the 400-meter relay at the Sydney Olympics and 2003 national champion, easily advanced into the semis with a 10.18 performance in his preliminary, then a 10.11 in the quarterfinals.

Two-time Olympic champion Maurice Greene led all first-round qualifiers in 10.07, then took his second race in 10.06, with Williams right behind.

O'Connell joins party

Jesse O'Connell, the recent Georgetown graduate from Westminster, added to the big day for Maryland athletes with a stirring stretch run in his 800-meter semifinal, moving from fifth place to third and grabbing a place in the final.

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