Tuesday June 15th, 2010

•Call it an Aggie Dynasty in the works. For the second straight year, both the men's and women's track and field teams from Texas A&M won team titles at the NCAA championships. Last weekend in Eugene, the men amassed 55 points, edging Florida by one, and the women scored 72, easily outdistancing the host Ducks who were second with 57.

Yet several of the top individual performances came from athletes at other schools who doubled in various events. Queen Harrison of Virginia Tech became the first woman to win both collegiate hurdles events, the 100 and 400 meter distances, at the NCAAs. Nigerian Blessing Okagbare of UTEP kept her unbeaten season alive in both the 100 meters and long jump and Lisa Koll of Iowa State won the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races.

On the men's side, Ryan Whiting appears to be Arizona State's answer to John Godina. Whiting won the shot put and discus, putting the shot 72 feet, one inch with his best attempt. That marked the second-best result in the world during this early portion of the season. Oregon's Andrew Wheating prevailed in the 800 and 1,500 meters.

• Saturday marked a superb running day in New York, with the New York Mini 10K race for women in Central Park in the morning and the Adidas Grand Prix on Randall's Island in the afternoon.

For starters, Kenya's Linet Masai overcame a loaded field to win the road race. The world champ at 10 kilometers, Masai easily pulled away over the last mile to capture the race in 30 minutes, 48 seconds. Kenya's Emily Chebet was next, well off the pace in 31:13. Ex-Kenyan Lornah Kiplagat, the race's four-time champ who now lives in and represents the Netherlands, led at the midway point, but faded to fourth. Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, the top U.S. runner, placed 11th.

The Adidas meet lost some of its steam when neither Usain Bolt nor Tyson Gay ran in the competition. France's Teddy Tamgho pulled off the world's best triple jump since 1998, leaping 59 feet, still a foot short of the world record set by Britain's Jonathan Edwards at the world championships in 1995.

In the women's 200, Jamaica's double Olympic gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown held off three-time world champ Allyson Felix to win the 200 meters. Campbell-Brown crossed in 21.98 seconds, just .05 ahead of Felix. Kerron Clement held off the always-entertaining Bershawn Jackson to win the 400-meter hurdles in a solid 47.86 seconds.

• Word from South Africa is that Caster Semenya will be cleared by the IAAF to compete again in international competition. Semenya has not run since winning the 800 meters at the world championships in Berlin last summer. Her victory set off a still-unresolved firestorm over the issue of gender identity.

• Chinese beach volleyball players enjoyed a historic weekend in Moscow, as Wu Penggen and Xu Linyin became the first Chinese male pair to win a world tour beach volleyball event in the 24-year history of the circuit. The pair, seeded 13th, defeated Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the U.S., 21-17, 17-21, 17-15, to win the final match.

On the women's side, Chen Xue and Zhang Xi topped Jan Kessy and April Ross of the U.S., 21-17 and 21-19, to take the women's title.

• Apparently, the family that lifts together wins together. Husband and wife Casey and Natalie Burgener each won their respective weight classes at the U.S. senior national weightlifting championships in Peoria. Natalie, a 2008 Olympian under her maiden name Woolfolk, won the 63-kilogram division by a healthy 42 kilos. Casey, who narrowly missed a spot on the Beijing team, took first in the 105kg division.

Casey would have competed at the 2008 Games but for a quirk in the tabulation of international results. The U.S. team was due to earn the final spot in his weight class, but after a Bulgarian lifter was banned for doping, those results were recalculated. A lifter from Taiwan, known as Chinese Taipei in Olympic circles, therefore was moved up one place in a competition at which Burgener did not compete. The result cost him a chance to compete in Beijing.

• Skater selections were released over the weekend for the ISU's six-event Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series that begins in Nagoya, Japan Oct. 22-24, and includes one domestic stop, Skate America in Portland Nov. 11-14.

For the U.S., Olympic ice dancing silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White will compete in Nagoya and Portland, but will not face Canadian Olympic champs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir at either site.

Men's national champ Jeremy Abbott will skate in Nagoya and Moscow (Nov. 19-21). Evan Lysacek will not compete during the series.

For the ladies, Rachael Flatt will skate in Nagoya and Portland and Mirai Nagasu will compete in Beijing (Nov. 5-7) and Paris (Nov. 26-28). Korean Olympic champ Kim Yu-na will compete in Beijing and Moscow.

• USA Gymnastics announced on Monday that the 2012 Olympic Trials will be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose from June 28 to July 1. The previous sites for the trials were Philadelphia (2008), Anaheim (2004), Boston (1996 and 2000) and Baltimore (1992). It marks the first time the Olympic gymnastics trials will be staged in San Jose.

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