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Nike team sets relay record

A blazing anchor leg by world 100-meter champion Marion Jones helped Nike International set an American record of 1 minute, 29.64 seconds for the women's 800-meter relay at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Nearly out of bounds, Jones took the baton about 6 meters behind LaTarsha Stroman and beat her by about 6 meters. The mark of 1:30.20 was set last year by a Nike team at the Penn Relays.

Michael Johnson anchored Nike's 800-meter relay team to victory in 1:19.85, just off the world record of 1:18.68 held by the 1994 Santa Monica Track Club, anchored by Carl Lewis.

Preceding Johnson on the relay were world 100-meter champion Maurice Greene, 1996 Olympic 110-meter hurdles gold medalist and two-time world champion Allen Johnson and Olympic 400-meter runner Alvin Harrison.

Allen Johnson also ran in the 400 relay and helped the Palmetto Flyers beat a Nike team anchored by Greene in 38.75.

In a collegiate relay, Arkansas avenged its loss to Michigan in Friday's distance medley relay by winning the 4-mile event in 16:11.65. Texas won the women's 800 relay in 1:31.23, breaking the college record of 1:31.29 established by LSU last year. Wisconsin took the distance medley in 11:06.88, and Texas won the women's 1,600 relay in 3:30.72.

The best 1,600 relay of the day was turned in by a Nike International team of Olympian Calvin Davis, Mike McDonald, Jamaican Olympian Greg Haughton and Antonio Pettigrew. They ran 3:00.46, fastest in the world this year.

Shana Williams, a 1996 Olympian, broke the meet record in winning the women's long jump at 22 feet, 10{ inches. Texas' Angie Vaugh set the meet record in winning the women's collegiate 100 hurdles in 12.80, fastest in the world this year.

Former Princeton runner Scott Anderson won the men's open mile in 4:02.24, upsetting the nation's No. 1 miler, Steve Holman (4:02.43). Cheri Kenah took the women's open mile in 4:35.77.

MORE TRACK: Continuing his comeback after losing parts of two toes in a lawn-mower accident last summer, Paul McMullen outran Terrance Herrington to win the mile in 3:59.12 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. Ja'Warren Hooker of Washington burst into the lead at the start and held off fast-closing Quinn Harris of Iowa State to win the 100 in 10.41. Harris ran 10.62. Suzy Hamilton broke the meet record in the 800, running 2:01.68 despite a 20-25 mph headwind on the home stretch. Iowa State's Edith Nakiyingi set the record of 2:03.18 in 1988.

RUNNING: Keith Batten of Clearwater won the Palm Harbor Day 10K road race by accident. He meant to run the concurrent 5K (3.1 miles) event but missed the turnaround point and continued on the longer course. His winning time was 30:36. Finishing second was Lou Stempfer (36:59) of Largo. Carol Brannan, 44, of Palm Harbor won the women's event in 44:07, ahead of 48-year-old Faye Adler (45:19) of Palm Harbor. Mike Healer, 44, of Clearwater, won the 5K in 16:42. Bryn Dannegger of Clearwater, a former collegiate swimmer, was the first woman in 19:50, good for 10th place in a field of 170 runners. A 51-year-old South African marathoner, Martin Ward, was shot and killed by carjackers just hours before he was to leave for the London Marathon.

BASKETBALL: Nikki McCray scored 14 points as the U.S. women's team beat Australia 85-74 for its second victory in a four-team international tournament in Himeji, Japan. Japan beat China 101-88, sending the Chinese to their second loss in two games.

COLLEGES: Pole vaulter Rory Abshire died from injuries suffered when he didn't let go soon enough after a handstand on the 11-foot observation tower at Southwestern Louisiana's track. Louisville plans to comply with a federal gender-equity law by adding three women's sports programs and dropping one men's program. The university's athletic association will present the proposal to the board of trustees Monday for final passage. Under the plan adopted Tuesday, women's golf, softball and rowing would be added and men's indoor track would be dissolved.

DERBY LANE: Flying Hades, Circus Dylan, JB Pistolero and Oshkosh Nicholas won first-round heats in the Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes. Semifinals will be run in the sixth and 10th races Wednesday.

_ DAVE THEALL, TIMES WIRES

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