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U.S. pole vaulter sets indoor mark

BOSTON — Stacy Dragila has her matching set again: indoor and outdoor world records in the pole vault.

Dragila cleared 15 feet, 8 1/4 inches at the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday to break the world record she held until Svetlana Feofanova took it away 13 months ago.

"As soon as I cleared the bar, my stomach dropped. I knew the record was back in my hands," Dragila said. "It's been a long time coming."

Regina Jacobs won the 3,000 meters in 8 minutes, 52.57 seconds to give her a pair of national championships for the weekend and 24 in her career. She's the world record-holder in the 1,500 and won that event Saturday.

The 39-year-old Jacobs is the first woman to win both since Jan Merrill (1976) and Francie Larrieu ('77), when the events were contested as the mile and two miles. But Jacobs said she will compete only in the 1,500 at the world championships.

"This was purely for a workout," said Jacobs, who had hoped to lower her American record of 8:39.14. "I'm not going to lie. I'm disappointed I didn't make it."

Dragila holds her event's outdoor world record at 15-9 1/4. She raised the indoor record eight times, peaking at 15-5 in 2001, before a foot injury kept her from jumping her best for most of last year.

With Dragila on the sideline, Feofanova broke the record for the first time in February 2002, then raised it five more times, most recently to 15-7 3/4 on Feb. 21 in Birmingham, England. That's where the two will square off March 14-16 at the world championships.

"Last year, she just kept taking it from me. I couldn't compete," said Dragila, the Sydney Olympics gold medalist. "I have shown her I'm not hurt anymore."

And she's looking forward to the competition. On Sunday, she only needed to clear 14-5 to win her 13th U.S. championship, her seventh indoors. Kellie Suttle finished second.

Dragila cleared 15-1 as a tuneup before having the bar set at 15-8 1/4.

She missed on her first attempt, and on the second she grazed the bar. But she popped up from the mat, saw that it hadn't fallen, and raised her arms before pumping a fist in triumph.

After failing three times at 16 feet, Dragila stood on the mat and blew a kiss to the crowd.

John Capel ran 20.69 in the 200 to beat defending U.S. champion Shawn Crawford. The two share the U.S. record of 20.26, but they're both known outside the world of track.

Crawford is better known to many as the man who ran against a zebra and a giraffe on the Fox TV show "Man vs. Beast" — he beat the giraffe and lost to the zebra (twice). Capel, who played football and ran track at Florida, took a break after winning the 2000 Olympic trials to try to make the NFL. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2001 but released.