News Photo
Walter Dix (right)

LSU, Florida State capture team titles at NCAA Track
and Field Championships

Walter Dix won his third consecutive 200-meter title
helping Florida State capture its third straight men’s team crown Saturday at
the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium.

Louisiana State edged defending champion Arizona State for
the women’s title with 67 points to 63 by the Sun Devils with the result coming
down to the meet’s final event, the 1,600 relay.

The two teams entered the race tied with 59 points. LSU
finished second for eight points, Arizona State fifth for four points.

“We sure did (know the team situation) and you feel good
when you’re going in with one of the top-ranked 4×400 relays,” said Dennis
Shaver who guided LSU to its first national title in his four years as a head
coach. “But I have to say that it’s a great track meet. There are some
great teams here and any one of us could have won it.”

The final day of the meet was held under partly sunny
skies in front of a crowd of 11,410 at Drake Stadium, where 19 stadium records
fell in the four days of competition. The stadium, home of the Drake Relays,
last was site of the NCAA championships in 1970.

The recent four-day meet drew 41,187 fans. In the first
two days the championships drew more than 18,450 spectators — almost 5,500
more than the 2007 meet held in Sacramento, Calif., which had a crowd of 13,125
over the same time period.  

Arizona State senior Jacquelyn Johnson won the heptathlon
to become the first four-time champion in the history of the event, having won
in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

She became the fourth athlete in the history of the NCAA
Outdoor Track and Field Championships to win an event four straight years,
joining Suzy Favor Hamilton, Wisconsin (1,500 1987-90); Seilala Sua, UCLA
(discus, 1997-2000); and Angela Williams, USC (100, 1999-2002).

Her 6,053 points were the ninth best in the history of the
event. There have also been four two-time champs and one three-time winner
since 1982. Her total set a stadium mark, breaking the 1990 record of 5,802 by
Russian Tatyana Zhuravola.

Dix, in his final race as a collegian, held off 100
champion Richard Thompson of LSU to win in 20.40 seconds. Thompson was second
at 20.44.

Florida State finished with 52 points. LSU and Auburn tied
for second with 44.

Auburn’s Cory Martin won the shot put at 66-9.25. He
became the first to win the hammer and shot at an NCAA championship since Jack
Merchant of California in 1922. Martin won both events on his final throw.

Hannah England of Florida State set an NCAA meet record in
the women’s 1,500 at 4:06.19.

Erica McLain of Stanford won the triple jump with a wind-aided
47-11 on her last attempt, the second-longest mark by an American under any

Penn State senior Shana Cox became the Nittany Lions’
first female NCAA champ on the track, winning the 400 in 50.97. She came back
to anchor Penn State to victory in the women’s 4×400 relay.

Texas junior Jacob Fernandez broke a 30-year-old stadium
record (Randy Wilson, Oklahoma, 1:45.86, 1978) with his 1:45.31 win over
Oregon’s Andrew Wheating (1:45.32).

The top five runners in the finals of the men’s 400 – Andretti
Bain of Oral Roberts (44.62), Lionel Larry of USC (44.63), Baylor’s LeJerald
Betters (44.83), Washington’s Jordan Boase (44.83) and Calvin Smith Jr. of
Florida (45.14) – recorded personal bests.


News Photo
Drake men’s tennis team

Bulldogs selected to compete in
ITA Men’s National Indoor Championships

The Drake men’s tennis team has
been selected to participate in opening round play of the 2009 Intercollegiate
Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships (Jan. 30 – Feb. 1,

The Bulldogs will travel to
Knoxville, Tenn., as the event’s third seed to battle second-seeded Louisville
at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center on the campus of the University of

The match will be the first of the
dual campaign for the Drake team, which will carry a national-best 42-match
regular season win streak into the tilt with the Cardinals.

The Cardinals finished the 2008
campaign ranked 48th nationally, while Drake was rated 49th. In the other half
of the draw, Tennessee will face Harvard.

“It is an honor to be
selected to compete in the National Indoor Team Championships,”  Drake Head Coach 
Chase Hodges said. “The event features the top men’s
tennis programs in college tennis. We look forward to playing Louisville in
Knoxville as we are excited to represent the Central Region and Missouri Valley

By virtue of their top-four finish
in the final ITA Central Region rankings, the Bulldogs earned an automatic bid
to the event.

The ITA held a national draft on
June 5 with teams getting to choose one of 15 four-team locations.

First-round winners and losers
will face each other in the second round. The 15 teams that win both matches
will advance to ITA National Team Indoor Championships, played two weeks later
(Feb. 13-16).

Read more about Drake men’s tennis online.