Lincoln Defends Steeplechase Title; Arkansas S
BY ANDRES FOCIL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Senior Daniel Lincoln ran his last race as a Razorback as he successfully defended his 3,000-meter steeplechase title at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships late Friday night. Lincoln added 10 points to UA’s total as he ran to victory in the event with a time of 8:26.65.
The Southeastern Conference is dominating the meet with league school holding the top five spots. Through nine events Arkansas is in second place with a total of 30 points, behind first place Auburn’s 37. Florida is third with 23, while LSU and Tennessee are tied in fourth with 21.
With his win, Lincoln became the first American to win the NCAA steeplechase three years in a row. James Munyala of UTEP, a Kenya native, claimed top honors from 1975-77. Lincoln is also the only runner in the history of the NCAA outdoor championships to capture both the 10,000 and 3,000-meter steeplechase in the same year.
At the start of the race Lincoln was in the lead pack and with three laps left he broke away from the rest of the field. His lead never faded as ran at least 50 meters ahead of the other runners.
“I just took a few laps to settle in and get comfortable,” Lincoln said. “I waited to make my move and made sure it was good enough to drop everyone. I was confident, but didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I just wanted to double to get points for the team. I guess no one has been dumb enough to do it or had the need for a team title.
“When I broke away with two laps left I thought about winning my third title and how it was my last race as a Razorback,” Lincoln said. “It’s been a fun five years. I’m staying in Fayetteville to train with my coach, who’s great, so not that much will change.”
“The double was terrific,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “To run three races in three days is pretty to tough to match. Daniel’s had an unbelievable career. He’s not only a great athlete, but an outstanding student. He’s the epitome of what a student-athlete is.”
After two sprinters false-started in the finals of the 100-meter dash sophomore Ahmad Carroll came in seventh place with a time of 10.46. Carroll became the first Razorback athlete to score points in the 100-meter dash and only the second Razorback athlete to earn All-America honors in the event. Vincent Henderson was the last runner to gain All-America status in the 100 when he finished ninth in 1993. Carroll is also the first football letterman since Clyde Scott in 1948 to score points in a NCAA outdoor meet.
In field events action senior Ramon Washington competed in the long jump, but finished out of scoring range in 11th with a mark of 24-2.50.
Saturday will mark the conclusion of the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Arkansas has athletes in the finals of the 1,500, 800, 200 and 5,000-meter runs. The Razorbacks hope to score enough points to outpace the Auburn Tigers and take home their 38th national championship.
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