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turk4037
05-01-05, 08:47 PM
Click on the pic below for a larger print. This was from the Des Moines Register.

http://img3.picsplace.to/img3/1911/thumbs/ScreenHunter_001.jpg (http://img3.picsplace.to/img3/1911/ScreenHunter_001.jpg)


Surprising Turn


Published May 1, 2005

ANDREA MELENDEZ/THE REGISTER Special victory: Darold Williamson crosses the finish line to win the Drake Relays special 400 meters Saturday before a sellout crowd of 18,000 at Drake Stadium. Williamson beat reigning Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner in a time of 45.24 seconds.

ANDREW LOGUE
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

Nobody works a curve like Darold Williamson.

When Saturday's session of the Drake Relays began, Williamson was an Olympic champion trying to escape the shadow of his training partner - two-time gold medalist Jeremy Wariner.

By the time a sellout crowd of 18,000 exited Drake Stadium, Williamson was a Relays sensation.

"Sometimes it's not always about winning," Williamson said after claiming victories in a special 400 meters and the university 4x400 relay. "It's about doing what you've got to do."

Williamson's triumphs came after he blew past his challengers coming out of the final turn.

Wariner was the first victim.

He took an early lead on his former Baylor teammate, but failed to match Williamson's spunk on the straightaway.

Williamson crossed the finish line in 45.24 seconds, beating Wariner for the second time in two weeks.

Then, the man who anchored the United States to a 4x400 win at Athens explained his success when he addressed the spectators.

"I came off the curve and Jeremy had me beat," Williamson said. "Everyone asks me, 'What's my trick?'

"I work the curve."

Williamson did the heavy lifting for Baylor in the final event of the afternoon.

He took the baton for the last leg, and held off a late charge from Northern Iowa's Dirk Homewood.

Once again, Williamson sprinted away from his rival on the northwest end of the track.

The Bears won in 3:05.19.

"It's no secret," longtime Baylor coach Clyde Hart said of Williamson's knack for wearing down opponents. "It's just something you have to re-enforce."

Talent and tenacity made Williamson an all-American, but he also earned a label.

The native of San Antonio, Texas, gained a reputation as a relay specialist, and that stigma might have slowed his development.

"He's always been a great relay runner, and that's been as much a handicap as great," Hart said. "Because he's had such great confidence that he can bring people back, with a stick in his hand.

"Sometimes, in his open race, he gets too far back."

Now, Williamson pounces on an opportunity to set the pace.

"I came off the turn and he had a little more strength than me," Wariner said. "He's had a lot more races than me."

Williamson is the only athlete to beat Wariner in the last 14 months - a feat he's accomplished four times.

"Jeremy actually ran a better race here," Williamson said, referring to Wariner's performance at last week's meet in Waco, Texas.

"He had to break his race down a little bit, but he was happy with the way he ran today," Williamson said.

Hart wasn't concerned about his other star.

Wariner has altered his workout schedule since becoming one of the fastest men on the planet, and Hart attributed the two losses to growing pains.

"I worried about Jeremy coming into a new situation," Hart said. "He's barely 21 years old and we just need to build up some races."

Wariner took the defeat in stride.

"It doesn't matter that I lost," he said. "Darold is a good athlete. I'm not going to be upset with myself if I lose to him at any point."

turk4037
05-01-05, 09:09 PM
ESPN Story



Wariner loses to Williamson again in 400

Associated Press
Track and Field News Wire (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?sportId=1700)



DES MOINES, Iowa -- Jeremy Wariner can beat anyone in the world at 400 meters -- except his former teammate.

In a crowd-pleasing duel of Olympic gold medalists, Darold Williamson outran Wariner in the stretch Saturday to win the feature race in the Drake Relays.

Williamson also beat Wariner in a meet at Baylor a week ago and was the only runner to beat him in the 400 last year, when the lanky sprinter in the dark glasses burst onto the international scene by winning the gold medal in the Athens Olympics.

Wariner's reaction?

A shrug. It was, after all, just the second open 400 for the former Baylor runner since he turned pro after his Athens success.

"It doesn't matter at this point," said Wariner, who picked up a second Olympic gold when he joined Williamson on the winning 1,600 relay team. "I've got a lot of things to do throughout the year, a lot of things to work on.

"The last two races I've had were really a practice 400 to see exactly where I'm at, what I need to work on throughout the year."

Williamson finished in 45.24 seconds, while Wariner ran 45.42. Wariner led in the final curve, but Williamson turned it on once they hit the straightaway and Wariner couldn't match him. He let up short of the finish, knowing the chase was fruitless.

"He had a little more strength than me," Wariner said. "He's been running indoors, so he's got a lot more races under his belt. I've just got to work on a couple of things and I'll get better."

A little more than an hour later, Williamson anchored Baylor to a victory in the 1,600 relay, showing the same strength in the stretch that enabled him to beat Wariner.

"I just had to do what I do best, and that's just muscle the last part of the race," Williamson said. "That last part is just strength, basically."

While the meet produced a pleasing double for Williamson, it brought more disappointment for world champion Perdita Felicien, who finished third in the 100 hurdles. It was just her second outdoor race since crashing on the first hurdle in the Olympic final.

turk4037
05-01-05, 09:17 PM
Another story on Jeremy


Headline Act





By JOSEPH SMITH
BEE STAFF WRITER



The tinted shades are more than just a trademark for Jeremy Wariner.

They also serve as a shield of sorts.

The 21-year-old, who shocked the track world at last summer's Athens Olympics by winning the gold medal in the 400 meters, likes the limelight about as much as he does pulled hamstrings.

He doesn't mind signing autographs or responding to fan mail, but he'd rather let his feet do the talking.

Those close to Wariner say his fierce focus is aided by his sunglasses which, aside from their stylish design, help him shut out those around him.

That includes both the world-class sprinters Wariner wants an edge over, and the casual fans who remark about his race white instead of the race.

After all, Wariner is the first white American to win an Olympic sprint medal since 1964, when Mike Larabee took the gold in the 400. That fact wasn't lost on one of Wariner's competitors at Athens, who remarked afterward: "That's the fastest white guy I've ever seen run."

Wariner deflects such statements quicker than his first steps after the starting gun.

"I've never seen it as black or white," said Wariner, who is scheduled to run the 400 Saturday in the 64th annual Coca-Cola Modesto Relays at MJC Stadium. "It's about running."

And maybe, in his case, records.

As in Michael Johnson's 400-meter world record of 43.18 seconds. Johnson, who is Wariner's agent, is Baylor University's most celebrated sprinter.

At least for now.

"I think he thinks I can (break the record), but he doesn't want to admit it," Wariner jokingly said in a conference call in late March. "I don't think he wants to see it broken yet."

Bouncing around

The Wariners' old two-story house in Arlington, Tex., couldn't hold in young Jeremy.

The youngest of three children, Wariner would pester his sister, Jennifer, and brother, Josh, making them want to pull their hair out.

Jeremy couldn't sit still. He'd follow them around, ask tons of questions.

And that was after Ritalin, a drug he took to calm his attention deficit disorder.

The activity stopped only when Wariner, then in third grade, would be lured upstairs by his siblings. They'd convince him to pop out onto the roof.

"They shut the window and left him out there alone," said Linda Wariner, laughing. "I don't want to know how many times it happened."

Wariner was typically alone amongst his peers when it came to his foot speed. On the soccer fields during grade school, he would make it seem effortless as he sped past other students. His mother likened it to "watching a wild animal run, so smooth, like he isn't even running."

Though a smooth running style came quite easily to Wariner, the gold medalist may never have run track had it not been for a bit of fate.

Mike Nelson, the track coach at Lamar High in Arlington, was also an assistant for the varsity football team. One hot May morning, during spring drills, Nelson saw a lean freshman whipping past his defensive backs as if they were stop signs.

Shocked, Nelson called Wariner over.

"Jeremy, you should go out for track."

Wariner: "Well, I play baseball."

Nelson said he forgot about the conversation until the next year. That's when after Wariner's basketball season was over, his father, Danny Wariner, approached Nelson. Jeremy had spent most of his freshman baseball season on the bench, and his father encouraged him to try track.

Basketball season ended on a Tuesday. Three days later, without any workouts, Wariner ran a 400-meter race for the junior varsity.

Nelson said he broke the sophomore record with a 50.7.

One opposing coach said: "If you got that kid on JV, you must have a really good varsity."

One week later, Wariner ran a 48.7 for varsity. Nelson was amazed at not only Wariner's fluid running motion, but his uncanny oxygen efficiency.

"I've had a kid run good 400-meter times and it'd take them 30 minutes to get their breath back," he said. "They'd be bent over double. But Jeremy was never like that. He could finish a race and go right to his warmdown."

Wariner, as a junior, ran in the 46s and won the regional meet, attracting attention from all kinds of colleges.

Even a recruiter from Florida A&M, a predominantly black university, called Nelson to inquire about Wariner.

They had seen his time, and figured

"I heard comments all the time," Linda Wariner said. "After one race, Jeremy's senior year, a lady asked me if he was mixed.

"I just said 'No.'"

Nelson said Wariner opened his eyes during the regional meet his senior year, when he jokingly asked Jeremy for a "retirement present."

Wariner responded by running a 45.57 in the 400, then an hour later doing the 200 in 20.41 both meet records.

No gift wrap was needed.

Said Nelson: "That's Jeremy for you."

Good as golden

Going to Waco's Baylor University, running for legendary coach Clyde Hart who trained Johnson, the world-record-holder was a no-brainer for Wariner.

"I want to run in the Olympics," he told Hart.

Run? Yes. But win? Yikes.

"This wasn't the year we were expecting him to go (to the Olympics) in the open quarter," Nelson said. "There were three or four pros at the (Olympic Trials), capable of running fantastic times. ...

"But after awhile, me and (Danny Wariner) looked at each other, and I said:

"He might just win this thing."

At the Athens Olympics, riding unbridled confidence, the Baylor sophomore became the first athlete ever to win the indoor and outdoor collegiate titles, the U.S. Championship and the Olympic gold medal in the 400.

Donning sunglasses, two earrings and a thick silver chain, Wariner led a U.S. sweep with a personal-best 44 seconds flat.

Linda Wariner jumped up and down in her seat.

Nelson stood in awe.

But Wariner did no chest-thumping. Showing up his opponents isn't his style.

"I got the school record," Wariner told Hart afterward.

"You still didn't get 43," the wise, white-haired coach replied.

Said Wariner: "Something else to work for."

Grounded, not rooted

From that moment on, plenty has changed in Wariner's life.

One minute, he's a college sophomore who has to borrow grocery money from his mother.

The next, he's one of the hottest names in track and field, owner of a lucrative endorsement deal with Adidas.

He can't lift a fork at a restaurant without being asked for an autograph. Letters from supporters around the world arrive at his parents' home in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Wariner has his own accountant and a three-bedroom duplex just outside of Waco. He even bought a 2005 white Mercedes E55, with a gray interior and a state-of-the-art sound system.

But those superficial things are not what define Wariner.

The 21-year-old is still very quiet, very private, one who loves staying inside and surfing the Internet, or hanging out with girlfriend Michelle Milton or best friend Darold Williamson, his Baylor and Olympic teammate who he ran with on the gold medal 4x400 team.

Then there's Wariner's home on the track, the one place he can tune everything else out, and feel in complete control.

Shades on. Then it's Wariner against the clock.

turk4037
05-01-05, 09:20 PM
More stories.



http://sfgate.com/templates/sfgatelogo_xsm.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/) www.sfgate.com (http://www.sfgate.com/) Return to regular view (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/05/01/sports/s112337D04.DTL)
Wariner Unfazed by Losing First Two Races (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2005/05/01/sports/s112337D04.DTL)
- By CHUCK SCHOFFNER, AP Sports Writer
Sunday, May 1, 2005

(05-01) 11:23 PDT Des Moines, Iowa (AP) --

Jeremy Wariner won two gold medals with blazing speed. So far, though, his first post-Olympic season is proceeding at a trot. In his first two 400-meter races since winning gold at that distance in Athens last summer, Wariner certainly hasn't been slow. But he hasn't won, either.

Former Baylor teammate Darold Williamson beat Wariner in a good race at the Drake Relays on Saturday. A week earlier, Williamson outran Wariner in a close race at Baylor.

Not that Wariner seems worried. His coach, Baylor's Clyde Hart, also isn't concerned. Wariner took two months off after the Olympics before resuming his training, then didn't compete indoors, so he's just now getting started.

"That's the one component we didn't know," Hart said. "We put him in a little bit different environment to get him some rest after the Olympic Games. I don't think it's going to prove to be a mistake. I just think that people have to understand.

"If he was running 46 or 47 seconds, I'd worry."

Besides, Hart noted, there's no shame in losing to Williamson, who anchored the U.S. 1,600 relay team to a gold medal in Athens. Williamson was the only runner to beat Wariner in the 400 last year.

In cool, windy conditions at Drake, Williamson won in 45.24 seconds, while Wariner ran 45.42. They were faster and closer the previous week, Williamson doing 45.06 and Wariner 45.13. Wariner ran 44-flat to win in Athens.

"In my opinion, at the Olympic Games, Darold was probably the fourth-best quarter-miler in the world. He may have been the third best," Hart said. "When he's losing to Darold by just that much ... It's just a case that Jeremy's got to have some races under his belt."

Wariner joined Williamson on the gold medal relay team last summer. He ran relays all the time at Baylor as well as the 200. He also used to compete indoors. Now, everything is focused on one race.

"It's a little easier for me not having to run every weekend, not running indoors," said Wariner, who turned pro after the Olympics. "The tough thing was starting back up in November and practicing until April. Working out every day and not getting a chance to see where I'm at is a little tougher.

"And hearing all these times everybody else was running, I was just eager to get out there on the track and run."

One of those times was the 44.57 that Florida sophomore Kerron Clement ran at the NCAA indoor meet, breaking the world record that was held by Wariner's mentor, Michael Johnson.

Wariner finally competed in late March. He tuned up by running a 1,600 relay leg and a 200.

"I had a good 4-by-4 my first time out and a great 200 the second time out," he said. "Now I'm just trying to work on each part of my race and get better."

Williamson followed his victory over Wariner on Saturday by anchoring Baylor to a win in the 1,600 relay. He seemed more excited about that race than beating Wariner, his daily training partner.

Baylor has a long tradition of outstanding 1,600 relay teams and Williamson wants to keep it going.

"When Jeremy was finished, we weren't supposed to do anything, but indoors we got second (at the NCAA meet)," he said. "People haven't said much about us outdoors, but I guarantee that we'll be in the finals at NCAAs and challenging for a win. We always pull something off."

txkypreacherskid
05-01-05, 10:11 PM
Two great athletes with a lot of class, and a very classy coach. Congratulations to all of them!! :flash: :bow:

BrooksBearLives
05-02-05, 02:08 PM
Thanks, Turk.

I appreciate the stuff you put up here, pics and whatnot. Thanks.

Pale Rider
05-02-05, 02:38 PM
Thanks, Turk.

I appreciate the stuff you put up here, pics and whatnot. Thanks.

ditto.

Good reads all.

I'm actually really glad for Darold, that he is doing so well.

I hope he takes the individual 400 title at the Big 12 meet and the NCAAs.

Of course I hope that also for our 4x400 team as well. :bounce:

GarlandBear84
05-02-05, 03:49 PM
Thanks for posting those interesting articles! I'm glad Darold is getting more of the spotlight now, since he is still wearing the green and gold. After the NCAA meet is over I'll pull equally for them as pros.

Waco Lions
05-02-05, 11:35 PM
Those two are going to own the 400 for the next 5-10 years.

GarlandBear84
05-03-05, 11:49 AM
Those two are going to own the 400 for the next 5-10 years.

I hope you're right, but LaShawn Merritt and Kerron Clement may have something to say about that.

Preyst
05-03-05, 08:07 PM
Kerron has stated over and over that he'll focus on the 400 hurdles. It's kinda tough to do both 400 and 400 hurdles at the same time.

LaShawn has amazing talent, but I'm not sure if he's got the right coaching. His coach is notorious for getting athletes in amazing shape early on, then flopping late in the season. I hope I'm wrong, because Jeremy and Darold will need LaShawn and co. to push them to even faster times.