June 14, 2003
Sacramento, Ca - Lauren Fleshman is truly a track & field champion.
For the third straight year, Fleshman captured the NCAA title in the 5,000 meters. This time at the 2003 NCAA Track & Field Championships on Saturday night at Sacramento State, Fleshman ran away from a tough field to win in a NCAA meet time of 15:24.06.
Fleshman becomes only the second female runner in NCAA history to win three straight 5,000 meter titles. Jennifer Rhines of Villanova won three national titles from 1994-96.
"The plan was to cover all the bases during the race," said Fleshman, who finishes her Cardinal collegiate career as a 14-time All-American. "When someone made a move, the plan was to keep pace, and continue to be fresh for a strong finish. With 300 meters to go, I said let's go and I was hoping for a magical spark. The crowd certainly helped. There was a large contingent of Stanford fans, and they helped keep me going."
In the men's 5,000 meters, Louie Luchini finished second to Alistair Cragg of Arkansas. Luchini and Craig sprinted in the final 400 meters, but Craig was able to move ahead with 200 meters to go. "I did what I could," said Luchini, who was timed in 13:49.81 compared to 13:47.87 for Craig. "I tried to hold him off, but Craig is a great runner, and I couldn't keep him from passing me. I'm satisfied with second place because Alistair is a great runner."
Running near the front of the pack, then making his move to open a wide lead with 300 meters to go, and then holding off Arkansas' Chris Mulvaney at the finish line, Robison won the 2003 NCAA 1,500 meter title on Saturday night.
Robison was timed in 3:40.39, a career-best, and sixth-best in school history. "With 300 meters to go, I said 'it's now or never,'" said Robison, a junior from San Angelo, Tx. "I couldn't hear Chris (Mulvaney) down the stretch, but I could hear the crowd, so I knew the race was going to be close. Being the NCAA champion ... It hasn't hit me yet."
Mulvaney was timed in 3:40.44.
Robison becomes the third Stanford athlete to win the national 1,500 meter title in the last four years. In addition to Robison in 2003, Sage won in 2002, and Gabe Jennings captured the national title in 2000.
In the women's 1,500 meters, Malindi Elmore shattered the longtime 1,500 meter school record of Regina Jacobs in finishing in eighth place. Elmore ran a career-best 4:11.67 to break the 21-year old record of 4:12.30 by Jacobs. For Elmore, it was her fourth All-America honor.
"This was really a tough race," said Elmore. "It was a hard race especially the last 50 meters."
Jill Camarena finished third in the shot put and in the process broke the long standing school record of Carol Cady, set in 1984. Camarena set a career-best with a throw of 57-4 3/4 (17.49m). Cady's former school record was 57-1 (17.40m).
"The crowd was a big help," said Camarena, who is from nearby Woodland. For Camarena, this was her fifth All-America honor. Friday, she gained All-America honors in the discus.
Omer Inan collected his third All-America honor in as many years in the discus with a ninth place finish. On his second of six throws, Inan tossed the discus, 180-11 (55.15m). Hannes Hopley of SMU won the national crown with a throw of 200-11 (61.25m).
Lillian Bush produced a gutsy effort to win All-America honors in the heptathlon. Bush, competing despite a broken right wrist suffered in a recent bicycle accident, tallied 5,340 points, her second best effort of the 2003 outdoor season. Bush finished tenth. Hyleas Fountain of Georgia won the national title with 5,999 points.
The Stanford men finished seventh in the team competition with 30 points. Arkansas won the NCAA title with 59 points.
The Stanford women chalked up 27 points to finish ninth in the team competition. LSU won the national title with 64 points.
Saturday's Results (6/14/03) - NCAA Track & Field Championships
Hornet Stadium - Sacramento State
1,500 Meters - 1. Grant Robison 3:40.39 - All-American
5,000 Meters - 2. Louis Luchini, 13:49.81 - All-American; 4. Seth Hejny, 13:52.27 - All-American
Discus - 9. Omer Inan, 180-11 (55.15m) - All-American
1,500 Meters - 8. Malindi Elmore, 4:11.78 - All-American
5,000 Meters - 1. Lauren Fleshman, 15:24.06 - All-American; 13. Sara Bei, 16:53.10
Shot Put - 3. Jill Camarena, 57-4 3/4 (17.49m) - All-American
Heptathlon (final results) - 10. Lillian Bush, 5,340 points - All-American
Heptathlon Long Jump - 3. Lillian Bush, 19-1 1/2 (5.83m)
Heptathlon Javelin - 15. Lillian Bush, 116-3 (35.43m), 580 points
Heptathlon 800 Meters - 4. Lillian Bush, 2:16.44, 873 points
For complete results, go to www.hornetsports.com or www.ncaasports.com