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Greene cruises to win race even without Johnson there
Jacobs beats meet record with 4:02 in the 1500-meter

EUGENE, Ore. -- Maurice Greene didn't need Michael Johnson running alongside to turn in a fast time in the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday. Marion Jones didn't need a reminder to run fast, either.

Greene and Johnson had been scheduled to meet in the 200-meter final Sunday, but Johnson withdrew Friday because of an injured quadriceps muscle.That left Greene, the world record-holder in the 100, as the sole star of the men's 200.

He didn't disappoint, producing the fastest time of the six preliminary heats, 20.26 seconds, despite easing up with about 40 meters remaining. He won his semifinal heat in a wind-aided 20.11, despite looking around with 15 meters left.

Greene discounted Johnson's absence.

"I can't worry about Michael Johnson," he said. "If I was hurt, I wouldn't have run either."

Johnson, world record-holder in the 200, denied avoiding a confrontation with Greene.

"I feel that at some point over the next couple of weeks I'll have the opportunity to run against Maurice and Maurice will have the opportunity to run against me," Johnson said before returning home. "I look forward to running against anybody who wants to run against me."

Rohsaan Griffin, the 1999 indoor champion, won the other semifinal in a wind-aided 19.96.

Jones, still smarting from Friday night's stunning upset loss in the long jump, sped to victory in her semifinal heat in the women's 200 in a wind-aided 22.31, the faster of the two heats. Before slowing with 15 meters remaining, she showed no sign of the knee injury she received while long-jumping June 12.

"It wasn't a great time, but it gets me to the final and one step closer to my first win of the championships," Jones said.

The women's final is Sunday.

Twelve finals were held Saturday -- six each for men and women.

The most scintillating performance was Regina Jacobs' victory in the women's 1,500 in a meet-record 4:02.41, the fastest in the world this year. Jacobs led all the way in winning her eighth national title -- her first was in 1987 -- by about 40 meters. The previous meet record was 4:03.37, by Mary Slaney in 1982.

The 35-year-old Jacobs, a silver medalist in the 1997 world championships, will attempt to complete a distance double Sunday, defending her 5,000 title.

"I knew what my plan was at the beginning of the race, and based on that plan, I knew I wouldn't have company," Jacobs said.

In contrast to the women's 1,500, the men's 1,500 was a tense, tight duel throughout. At the end, Steve Holman, who in the past has had numerous difficulties in big meets, held off 1997 winner and two-time NCAA champion Seneca Lassiter -- 3:39.21 to 3:39.23.

Holman survived a near-fall with 300 meters remaining. At that point, Karl Paranya fell in the closely bunched field and Holman, the best American 1,500-meter runner of the decade, appeared to get spiked and stumble, but recovered quickly.

The other men's champions were defending champion Jerome Young in the 400 at 44.24, second-fastest in the world this year; Angelo Taylor in the 400 hurdles in 48.49; Kevin Dilworth in the long jump with a wind-aided 26 feet, 7 3/4 inches; Anthony Washington in the discus at 222-11; and American record-holder Tom Pukstys in the javelin at 256-0.

The other women's champions were Maicel Malone-Wallace in the 400 in 51.29, her third national title; Sandra Glover in the 400 hurdles in 55.95; Libbie Hickman in the 10,000 in a meet-record and career-best 31:41.33, fastest by an American this year; Stacy Dragila in the pole vault with a meet-record 14-7 1/4; and Michelle Rohl in the 20-kilometer walk in an American-record 1:33:17.

After smashing the mark of 14-1 1/4 she set in 1997, Dragila went for a world record 15-1 1/2, but missed three times. On her final try, she barely brushed the bar on the way down.

CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: Bruny Surin ran the fastest 100 meters ever on Canadian soil Saturday, while Donovan Bailey, continuing his comeback from a torn Achilles' tendon, finished third in the marquee event at the national track and field championships.

Surin won in 9.88 seconds, however, the time will not count as a national record because of a tail wind of 3.1 meters per second, well over the 2.0 limit. Brad McCuaig was second in 10.18, while Bailey clocked 10.19.