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Friday, June 4, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NCAA Track Championships -- One-Shoe-Off Runner Makes Big Comeback

Seattle Times News Services

BOISE - Leigh Daniel, a 10,000-meter runner from Texas Tech, won her race and won over the crowd in a remarkable comeback at the NCAA track and field championships.

Daniel, ranked first nationally in the event, led early yesterday but lost a shoe after running about 1,500 meters. Forced to stop and put the shoe back on, she fell 120 meters behind the leaders.

As the crowd at Boise State's Bronco Stadium cheered her on, Daniel steadily narrowed the gap and passed leader JoAnna Deeter of Notre Dame to a standing ovation with 800 meters to go. She then held off BYU's Tara Rohatinsky to win in 34 minutes, 1.63 seconds.

Washington senior Deeja Youngquist placed 17th in 36:24.33. Teammate Anna Aoki, a junior who was up late Wednesday night battling food poisoning, was 19th in 36:54.34.

Other winners in women's events yesterday were UCLA's Seilalu Sua, shot put, 57 feet, 9 inches, and SMU's Kajsa Bergqvist, high jump, 6-2 3/4. Men's winners were Arkansas' Melvin Lister, long jump, 26-9, and Tennessee's Tom Pappas, decathlon, 8,184 points.

Washington State's Whitney Evans, a freshman heptathlete, placed fourth in the women's high jump at 6- 1/2.

WSU's Bernard Lagat and Arkansas' Seneca Lassiter hooked up in the same 1,500 semifinal heat, and Lassiter edged Lagat with a late lunge - 3:47.92 to 3:47.96. The final is tomorrow.

Arend Watkins, a WSU sophomore, advanced to today's semifinals of the men's 100 hurdles, placing third in his heat in 13.98.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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