Lincoln Clinches Spot in World Track and Field
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Razorback Daniel Lincoln punched his ticket for this summer’s World Track and Field Championships on Saturday afternoon, when he captured second place in the steeplechase at the 2003 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.
Lincoln crossed the line in a time of 8:24.10 trailing former Colorado standout Steve Slattery (8:23.58) by less than a second. Robert Gary (8:24.82) finished third to clinch the final qualifying spot. The top three finishers in each event at this weekend’s meet will represent the United States at the World Track and Field Championships in Paris, France on Aug. 23-31.
“Getting a chance to represent my county is going to be great,” Lincoln said. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this and now I will get a chance. It was great having Coach (John) McDonnell here with me. I’m glad I did it with him watching.”
Lincoln’s runner-up finish is even more impressive when you consider that Saturday’s final was his fifth major race in the last 11 days including four steeplechase events.
“It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and I’m just glad I pulled it off,” Lincoln said. “It was satisfying and exciting. I’m glad it’s over. I was confident until this morning when all the doubt comes rushing in and you are nervous. You wonder if the 10K and all the steeples last week would hurt. The fatigue didn’t hit me until the finishing kick and then it was just a matter of first and second. I wish I could have won it today, but I’m pleased with how everything has gone.”
For Lincoln it was the culmination of a historic 11-day span that saw the Fayetteville, Ark., native win two NCAA individual titles, help capture a NCAA team national championship, set a school record in the 10,000-meters and qualify to compete for his country at the world championships. For good measure, Lincoln was also recognized this week as the Trackshark.com NCAA Outdoor Male Athlete of the Year and the United States Track and Field Association’s Athlete of the Week.
“What a tremendous week and half it has been for Daniel,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “He achieved everything that he set out to achieve. He won two NCAA individual titles, a team national championship and qualified to represent his country at the World Championships. I know that he is going to remember this week for a long time to come. I’m so proud of what he did this week and throughout his Razorback career.”
Last weekend the Fayetteville, Ark., native finished his decorated collegiate career in style by earning 20 points with wins in the 10,000 meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
Lincoln became the first American to win three-consecutive NCAA steeplechase titles in helping the Razorbacks to their 38th national championship including their 10th in outdoor track and field.
Lincoln also shattered a 21-year-old school record in winning the 10,000 meters with a time of 28:20.20. He became the first athlete ever to capture individual titles in both the 10,000 and the steeplechase at the NCAA Championships in the same year.
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