May 11, 2001 at Coral Springs FL

3A Florida State Meet

Photo Page - Sanya Richards

Drive for five ends at two for hobbled star

by John Dye

Sanya Richards advanced to the Florida 3A state finals in five events and, amazingly, she was favored in all five -- long jump, high jump, 100, 200, and 400. But she was hurting with season-long nagging injuries -- shin splints, hamstring, and turf toe. Furthermore, winning the five events was really eight competitions in one day because there were preliminaries in the sprints.

Things started auspiciously with a 19-11.25 win in a great long jump competition (four more girls were better than 18-11), but the drive for five ended in the high jump as Richards couldn't make her seed height of 5-6 and finished second to Marla Jackson's 5-6..

Then came the sprints - six races in a little over 4 hours. Richards advanced out of the prelims in all three events.


First in the finals was an easy win in the 100 in 11.96 - a comfortable 0.30 ahead of teammate Talonda Ingram.

In the 400, Richards pressed hard for the state record,
but her hamstring hobbled her leg movement near the finish
and she ended up pushing Alycia Williams to the record.

Richards underway in 400
Richards breaks stride as right hamstring tightens up
and Williams moves on to victory

Sanya resisted suggestions that she scratch from the 200 and perhaps lived to regret it.
Beaten well before the finish, she limped across the finish line 8th out of 9 runners.


SANYA'S BOTTOM LINE: 2 firsts, 2 seconds, 1 eighth -- the lion's share of her team's 98 points as the St. Thomas Aquinas powerhouse won its fourth straight state championship.

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