Jon Drummond finished the race with a scowl, his face locked in a grim determination. He quickly took off his shoes and headed toward the dressing area.
Then a friend pushed him back out on the track to take a victory lap, and he finally seemed to realize what he had done. He lifted his arms in the air and yelled, then ran around the track wearing one sock and no shoes.Drummond had just beaten Carl Lewis for the first time in his career, winning the 200 meters at the Prefontaine Classic on Sunday in a wind-aided 20.20 seconds. Lewis finished second in 20.22.
Drummond, who less than an hour earlier had finished second in the 100, knew the record crowd of 13,804 wanted Lewis to win. And that made him even more excited about the win.
"They've got favorites, but that's why they've got people like me," he said. "I'm definitely a spoiler. Just when you think you're on top, a little guy like me shows up and beats you."
The meet featured three 1996 world bests - Allen Johnson won the 110 hurdles in 13.13; Sonia O'Sullivan ran away from Lynn Jennings on the last lap while finishing the women's 3,000 in 8:39.33; and Paul Bitok won the 5,000 in 13:08.29, a world best this year by 12 seconds.
Gwen Torrence continued her early season dominance with her second 100 meters under 11 seconds in as many weeks. The reigning women's world champion won in 10.96 - second-fastest in the world this year to the 10.85 she ran a weekend earlier in Atlanta.
Before the start of their race, Drummond told Lewis that "I'm here to keep you honest." He then led throughout the race and held off Lewis in the final meters.
"I was worried about one thing, the last 10 meters, because that's where I've been having problems," Drummond said. "I kind of saw Carl and I said, `You know what, I can run faster.' And I did."
Lewis, who said he was bothered by a head cold, laughed when asked whether he lost the race to Drummond at the start.
"It was the first 190 meters," he said. "I think there was 10 meters in there that I outran him."
Drummond's excitement at winning was another measure of the renewed threat posed by Lewis, the eight-time Olympic gold medalist who is running well this spring after a poor indoor season. Lewis turns 35 this summer, and wants to cap his career with another shot at Olympic glory.
In order to reach the Olympics, he'll have to place in the top three in the U.S. Olympic Trials in mid-June in Atlanta. That will be difficult, and Sunday's race was his last before the trials.
"I'm just going to train and rest," Lewis said, "nothing else before the trials."
Michael Johnson, who has dominated the 200 for the past few years, had been scheduled to run in the Prefontaine but pulled out with a sore right hamstring.
Johnson was one of several top athletes - including Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Gail Devers - who were late scratches from the meet.
But the meet, named for the late distance star Steve Prefontaine, was a showcase for several distance runners. On a chilly day, O'Sullivan used a blistering 62.2-second final lap to win the 3,000.
Mary Slaney, perhaps the greatest American women's middle-distance runner ever, finished fifth in the 3,000 - nearly 12 seconds behind O'Sullivan. Slaney, 37, is making yet another comeback in her quest for a long-elusive Olympic medal.
The fifth-place finish was a sobering reminder of how far she still has to go, though her ability to even compete in the race was somewhat of a victory. Slaney had battled a kidney infection the past two weeks.