Mar 212004
 
Authors: John Teten

Modesty does not always accompany a world-class athlete, but CSU

junior John Woods is not your average runner.

Woods sprinted to a sixth-place finish in the 60-meter dash at

the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend in

Fayetteville, Ark.

He crossed the line in 6.71 seconds, becoming the first Ram

sprinter to gain indoor All-American honors and the first CSU

athlete to do so since Alex Burl in 1954.

In an Olympic year with some foreign athletes training for their

shot to compete in Athens, Woods downplayed his finish.

“It feels good to get (All-American),” Woods said. “I was kind

of lucky to get it, but I don’t want to take away from working hard

and getting there.”

Woods, the Mountain West Conference champion in both the 60 and

the 200, left Arkansas humbled with the results.

“I’m a little disappointed with how things ended,” he said. “I

don’t think I ever hit my potential this indoor season.”

Oklahoma’s DaBryan Blanton won the 60 in 6.59 seconds.

“I could see the runners on either side of me and I knew what I

had to do,” Blanton said in a release. “At the 40-meter mark, I

felt myself pulling away from the pack and then I hit the finish

line first.”

Woods said he hopes to use the race to propel him to a strong

outdoor season and an invite to the Olympic trials this summer.

The men’s distance-relay team of Brandon Kent, Paul Michel, Mike

Nicks and Brian Kelly joined Woods and freshman thrower Magnus

Lohse in Arkansas.

The relay team placed eleventh, but Lohse fouled on each attempt

– a disappointing end to a strong initial season.

Louisiana State won the men’s and women’s overall title,

becoming the first school to sweep the field. LSU head coach Pat

Henry was named indoor Coach of the Year for both the men and

women.

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