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Berryhill sets the pace

Wire and staff reports

EUGENE - Bryan Berryhill, who on Sunday recorded a lifetime best in the mile, continued his impressive display of distance running Thursday in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Berryhill, a former Crater High athlete in his senior year at Colorado State, posted the fastest qualifying time in the 1,500-meter semifinals at Hayward Field with a clocking of 3:41.83.

Berryhill, who won the indoor championship earlier this year, posted a better time than two Olympians, Michael Stember and Gabe Jennings of Stanford, who also advanced to the final.

Berryhill competed in the Prefontaine Classic Sunday, also at Hayward Field, and ran a 3.55.01 mile, finishing eighth in a world-class field.

Another former Crater runner, Max King, just missed qualifying for the finals in the 3,000 steeplechase. King, a Cornell junior, finished 13th in the semifinals in 8:49.30. The top 12 advanced. He missed out by less than one-half second.

Meanwhile, it was Superman who ruled supreme again and immediately threw out a challenge to the world record-holder in the long jump.

Mississippi's Savante Stringfellow, a huge fan of the action hero, won the long jump for the second consecutive year, keeping his Superman T-shirt from LSU's Walter Davis.

The two have been exchanging the shirt, depending on who wins the head-to-head competition between the Olympians. Stringfellow, a senior, finished with a 5-3 margin over the Tigers' junior.

Stringfellow wore his customary red Superman T-shirt before and after the competition, but did not have any surprises afterward like he had hinted, such as producing the cape and other attire.

Stringfellow, jumping in the first flight, quickly put the pressure on Davis, soaring 27 feet, 11/4 inches on his first attempt. He passed his next two attempts, trying to conserve his energy for the final.

Davis, jumping in the second flight, went 26-101/2 and 26-10 on his first two tries, then fouled.

In the final, Stringfellow improved on each jump, opening with 26-101/2, followed by 27-0 and his winning leap of 27-13/4. Davis began his final round with two fouls, then finished at 26-81/4.

Stringfellow's two bests jumps were the second- and third-longest in the world this year.

The charismatic Stringfellow doesn't hide his fascination with Superman. Besides his supply of T-shirts, he sports two tattoos of the comic book character, one on his left biceps, one on his left leg.

The excited Stringfellow said he was anxious to take on world record-holder Mike Powell in this month's USA Championships, also at Eugene, Ore. Powell returned to competition this season after a four-year absence.

I saw Mike Powell after this thing, and I told him if he was ready, we can go right now," Stringfellow said. "He made some excuse; he didn't have his shoes. So Mike Powell, I'm ready for you next. I'm ready to send him back to coaching.

Five other finals were held Thursday night.

The most popular winner with the Hayward Field crowd of 4,575 was Oregon decathlete Santiago Lorenzo, who finished with 7,889 points, a career-best by 163. The other winners were men's high jumper Charles Clinger of Weber State at 7-61/2; men's hammer thrower Andras Haklits of Georgia at 247-8; women's shot putter Christina Tolson of UCLA at 57-03/4; and women's 10,000-meter runner Any Yoder-Begley of Arkansas at 33 minutes, 59.96 seconds.

With the fans cheering his every move, Lorenzo overcame stifling heat and David Lemen of Georgia.

Going into the final event of the 10-event, two-day decathlon, the 1,500 meters, Lorenzo trailed Lemen by 70 points. He overcame that by running 4:21.84, worth 799 points, to Lemen's 4:48.12, good for only 630 points.

Lemen wound up third with 7,790 points, behind Tennessee's Stephen Harris, the first-day leader, with 7,871.

Clinger, the world leader in the high jump at 7-81/2 and the NCAA indoor champion, had to go to a jumpoff with Utah State's Dave Hoffman before winning. The jumpoff began at 7-73/4. Both missed their one jump at that height, and both missed again at 7-61/2, before Clinger cleared 7-51/4 and Hoffman missed. The winning height was determined on the last height Clinger cleared before the jumpoff.

One day before having back surgery, Haklits accomplished a rare feat at the championships - he won his second hammer throw title for a second school.

Haklits, the hammer throw winner for Northeast Louisiana in 1999, won his latest title for the Bulldogs, throwing 247-8.

Before his big throw in round four of the six-round competition, Haklits nearly didn't make the final. He fouled on his first two attempts, and a third foul would have eliminated him from the competition.

I was a little nervous," Haklits said. "I got a little scared.

But Haklits made it into the final with a throw of 239-4 in round three, putting him into second place behind Utah State's James Parker (240-7).The Bulldogs' junior from Croatia took the lead on the next round, and Parker couldn't match him.

Haklits will undergo surgery Friday for a bulging disc and bone fragments in his back. The injuries kept him from throwing for nearly two months.

Tolson is the seventh athlete in NCAA history to win the women's indoor and outdoor shot put titles in the same year. Her former teammate, Seilala Sua, did it last year.

Tolson is the fifth UCLA thrower to win the outdoor shot put, all since 1990. Sua did it twice, and Tracy Millet, Dawn Dumble and Valeyta Althouse once each.

Tennessee's Leonard Scott and freshman Justin Gatlin, heat winners in the men's 200 Wednesday, also won their heats in the 100 Thursday. Scott was clocked in 10.05, the fastest by a collegian this year, Gatlin ran a wind-aided 10.08.

Southern California's Angela Williams, the two-time defending champion in the women's 100, won her preliminary heat with a wind-aided 11.21.

Illinois dominated the preliminaries of the women's 100 hurdles.

The Illini's Susanna Kallur had the fastest time in the three heats, winning in a wind-aided 12.83. Perdita Felicien, the collegiate leader this season at 12.73, won her heat with a legal 12.93, with Kallur's twin, Jenny, second in 13.15.