02.03.2001 Sports News

Ghanaian Making Waves In US Atheletics

By Daily Nebraskan Online
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Lesley Owusu and the Nebraska track teams were not going to be denied on their home turf at the Big 12 Indoor Championships this weekend.

Led by the senior sprinter from England, NU dominated the second day of the meet - winning both the men's and women's titles.

"We're at home, and no one is going to invade us," said Owusu, who sparkled again in her two individual events, recording 21 1/2 overall points for her team.

Owusu won the 200- and 400-meters on Saturday afternoon in impressive fashion. Her blazing 400 time of 52.37 was not only a Devaney Center record, it was the fastest in the country this year.

The women's team won the meet with 143.5 points. Texas was second at 105.5, and Kansas State was third with 104. The Husker men scored 124 points to beat Texas A&M with 86 and Texas with 78.5.

Fifteen Big 12 Indoor records were set, including 13 on the new hydraulic-banked track.

Nebraska was boosted by the return of All-American thrower Melissa Price. The senior, who planned to redshirt this season, won the 20-pound weight throw with a mark of 66' 8" 1/2. Her best throw was accomplished on her first attempt of the competition.

"All I wanted to do today was win," Price said. "The distance wasn't important. I'll try and build up on that as I go."

Price's mark automatically qualified her for nationals.

The other NU event winner on the women's side was Krisztina Kovesi in the triple jump with a personal-best of 41' 2" 1/4.

Second-place finishers included Ann Gaffigan in the mile, Jelena Stanisavljevic in the 600-yards, Na' Tassia Vice in the high jump and Leann Boerema in the shot put.

Nebraska's men captured the meet title in large part because of their performances in the sprints.

Chris Chandler and company scored 34 points in the 60- and 200-meters alone. Chandler won the 60-meters for the second year in a row and placed second in the 200. Both of his times, 6.63 and 20.91, were season-bests.

In the 60, Chandler recovered from what he considered a "horrible" start to catch Texas's Reggie Hill. He was defeated by Texas A&M's Brandon Evans in the 200. Evans set a Big 12 record with a time of 20.78.

Fellow Huskers Jimmy Pino and Bradley Perry placed fourth and sixth in both events, respectively.

Another strong event for the Huskers was the high jump where three NU jumpers placed in the top five. Junior Shaun Kologinczak ran away from the field, leaping a season-best 7'3" 3/4. Freshmen Kyle Odvody and Frank Tolen were fourth and fifth.

Also claiming a gold medal was sophomore Chris Burns, who set a personal-best time of 1:49.82 in the 800-meters. Eric Eshbach cleared 17'8" 1/2 in the pole vault, placing second.

Junior Sheldon Hutchinson, who was trying to go back-to-back in the long jump and triple jump, was hampered by a groin injury suffered on Friday. Hutchinson placed second in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump.

The NU men and women won the event for the second year in a row. Nebraska's men have won the indoor title four of the past five years.

"Going into the meet, we thought it was going to be real close on both sides," Husker Coach Gary Pepin said. "It was a heck of a tough meet, and we were very fortunate."

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