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Posted: March 1, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Seaman wins 11th title at USA Indoor Championships

BOSTON - The winners' podium at the 2009 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday alternated multi-time champions with first-time winners at the Reggie Lewis Center. The final stop of USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series, the meet will be broadcast Sunday from 5-7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Topping the list of recurring winners was Tim Seaman, who won a record 11th national indoor title in the men's 5,000m race walk to surpass the 10 victories of Hall of Famer Henry Laskau from 1948-57. The lifelong New York AC athlete easily won Saturday in 19 minutes 59.06 seconds as Patrick Stroupe was second (20:32.26) and Michael Tarantino third (21:19.78). It was the 35th overall career national crown for Seaman, who competes indoors and outdoors at all distances from the 1 mile on the track through 50 km on the roads.

Jillian Camarena won her fifth consecutive title in the women's shot put with a toss of 18.59 meters/61 feet 0 inches. Liz Wanless was second (18.18m /59-07.75) and Karen Shump third (17.26m/56-07.50). In the 76-year history of the event at the USA Indoor Championships only Rena McDonald has won more consecutive titles than Camarena, winning six straight from 1929-1934. (The women's shot was not contested for a total of seven years in the 1930s and '40s).

Amy Acuff won her fifth national indoor title in the women's high jump, topping the competition with a leap of 1.90m/6-2.75, ahead of Dierdre Mullen in second and Sharon Day in third, both at 1.85m/6-0.75.

Middle-distance finals

Among three middle-distance event finals on the track Saturday night, the men's 1500m produced the lone repeat winner. In a race that featured the last three indoor national champions - Rob Myers, Alan Webb and Chris Lukezic - it came down to a two-man sprint between Myers and Webb. At the bell lap, Myers sprinted to the lead, but in the final stretch, Webb made a run at the 2004 and '08 champ. Myers held off Webb, winning in 3:45.73 as Webb was second in 3:45.82. Steve Sherer was third in 3:46.14.

With marathon specialist Josh Rohatinsky setting the early pace in the men's 3,000m, David Torrence and Brandon Bethke sprinted away in the final lap. A sub-4:00 miler while at Cal, a jubilant Torrence finished in 7:53.67 to win his first national title of any kind, with Bethke second in 7:54.20 and three-time champion Jonathon Riley third in 7:55.79.

The women's 3,000 also featured a first-time winner. Three-time Olympian Jennifer Rhines provided early leading duties before Olympic 10,000m runner Amy Yoder Begley took over in the final laps. After the bell, 1500m specialist Sarah Hall attempted to sprint past the Alberto Salazar-trained Begley, but Begley's strength won out. She finished in 8:53.27 to Hall's 8:53.72, with Julie Culley third in 8:55.62.

Manson repeats in HJ

A battle between a trio of 2008 Olympians was expected in the men's high jump, and so it came to be. Andra Manson, Jesse Williams and Dusty Jonas were the class of the field, with Manson repeating as national indoor champion with a clearance of 2.32m/7-7.25. Williams finished second at 2.29m/7-6, and Jonas third at 2.26/7-5.

Jeremy Scott, the 2003 USA indoor runner-up, added the title of 2009 national champion to his calling card. Known also as the world's tallest pole vaulter at 6-9, Scott cleared 5.60m/18-4.5 on his first attempt to easily win the competition. Brian Mondschein was second at 5.50m/18-0.5, and Darren Niedermeyer was third at 5.40m/17-8.5.

Shakeema Welsch won her second straight title in the women's triple jump with a leap of 13.77m/45-2.25, with Crystal Manning second with 13.76m/45-1.75 and Erica McLain third with 13.6m/44-10.75. Randall Flimmons won the men's long jump with a best mark of 7.79m/25-6.75, with Matthew Turner second with 7.77m/25-6 and Dexter Adams third with 7.73m/25-4.5.

In Saturday's qualifying rounds, three-time champion Khadevis Robinson was the fastest qualifier in the men's 800 with a time of 1:49.95; Katie Waits was the fastest woman with 2:05.35. Dominique Darden was fastest in the women's 400 rounds (53.50), and Jamaal Torrence was fastest male (47.16).

Winners of exhibition races included the Massachusetts girls in the girls' high school 4x400m relay in 3:54.20, Connecticut in the boys' high school 4x400 (3:16.67), and the Cambridge Jets in both the girls' (1:51.55) and boys' (1:44.55) 4x200m youth relays. For complete results, athlete quotes and updated Pick-n-Win standings, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com or www.usatf.org.

For more information about the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships or to purchase tickets, log onto www.visachampionshipseries.com or USATF.org. For questions regarding tickets, please call (317) 713-4680. USATF welcomes you to purchase tickets with your Visa Card. Visa is the only credit card accepted by USATF.

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.


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