Cragg leads Arkansas to 15th title in 22 years


PHILADELPHIA -- Alistair Cragg and Arianna Lambie made the
most of their second chances at the Penn Relays.

Cragg pulled away in the final 200 meters of the men's distance
medley and led Arkansas to its second title in three years Friday
with a time of 9 minutes, 33.74 seconds. It was redemption for
Cragg, who lost by a half-stride in the stretch of last year's

"It's hung around my neck that we lost it," the senior said.
"Now we ... they can come back next year and run as defending

The win was Arkansas' 15th Penn Relays distance medley title in
22 years.

Lambie didn't have nearly as long a wait as Cragg. She dropped
the baton about 30 meters into Thursday's women's distance medley,
costing the favored Stanford Cardinal any chance to contend.

On Friday, she ran a split time of 4:11.07 on the final leg to
rally Stanford past Providence with a winning time in the
6,000-meter relay of 17:26.88. Providence finished in 17:34.06 and
North Carolina was third in 17:37.23. North Carolina was the
two-time defending champion but was missing anchor Shalane
Flanagan, who redshirted this season to train for the Olympics.

Lambie, who set a Relays girl's high school mile record last
year, put aside the disappointment of the dropped baton.

"Today was a new opportunity," she said. "I feel completely
satisfied for taking advantage of it. You can't let these things
bother you when you have a race the next day."

With about 600 meters to go, Lambie started sprinting and within
a lap had opened up a 50-meter gap on Providence. She never looked

Stanford cross country coach Dena Evans fought back tears while
talking about the victory. She was a senior on the 1996 team that
led the event the whole way until being caught with about 30 meters

"It's a thrilling experience to be part of this," Evans said.
"They did exactly what we asked them to do. Each and every one of
them did their part today."

So did the four competitors for Tennessee. For the second
straight day, the Vols came through with a dominating performance
in a relay, this time setting the NCAA record in the women's sprint
medley relay in 3:41.78.

The time was just good enough to pass Texas' record of 3:41.97,
which had stood since 1988 and also was set at the Penn Relays.

Tianna Madison, Toyin Olupona, Dee Dee Trotter and anchor
Kameisha Bennett led from start to finish, and celebrated with a
waving victory lap to an enthusiastic crowd.

"To come out and break the collegiate record shows you how good
this group really is," coach J.J. Clark said. "Tennessee track
has arrived."

And the program arrived at one of the sport's most famous

It's been a great two days for Tennessee at the Relays.
Tennessee won the women's distance medley relay Thursday, pulling
away early for its first win in the event since 1983. Tennessee
entered the competition having won the NCAA and Southeastern
Conference indoor championships in the distance medley relay.

LSU was second in the sprint medley at 3:44.97 and Stanford was
third at 3:51.30.

In the men's sprint medley relay, Arkansas won in 3:16.14,
followed by Florida (3:16.51) and Texas (3:18.32).

In the 400-meter relay, LSU won its second straight title with a
new Relays record of 42.92. South Carolina was second in 43.58 and
Miami was third in 43.64. Both of those were top-10 times on the
Relays' all-time list.

In the men's distance relay, Cragg, Sam Vazquez, Terry Gaston
and Said Ahmed started slowly. Then Cragg took over, leading the
entire time on the final leg, though he couldn't quite shake
Georgetown's Chris Lukezic until the very end.

"I felt better as the race went on," Cragg said. "I battled
the first two laps."

Georgetown finished second in 9:34.61 and Villanova was third in

In the shot put, Dan Taylor of Ohio State won with a toss of 66
feet, 7 inches and Johvonne Hernandez of Syracuse won the women's
discus with a throw of 172-3.

Taylor has bigger dreams than winning the Penn Relays.

"It's hard not to think of the Olympics since it's my senior
year," he said. "It's the next step and I think I can put my two
cents in. It's going to be a big year."

Taylor failed to make it a sweep, finishing third in the discus.
Florida's Ryan McIntyre won with a toss of 193-5.

Florida also won the men's shuttle hurdles in 55.48; LSU won the
women's in 53.43.

John Moffit of LSU won the men's long jump. In the women's
triple jump, Tabia Charles of Miami jumped 44-¾ to get the win.