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Jackie Joyner-Kersee produced two American records in different events...

By
WILL DUNHAM, UPI Sports Writer

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Jackie Joyner-Kersee produced two American records in different events on consecutive nights during a weekend of splendid track versatility for the 1987 Sullivan Award winner.

After establishing an American record in the long jump Saturday night, Joyner-Kersee won the 60-meter hurdles in the Mobil One Invitational indoor track meet in American record time.

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'I'm very happy,' said Joyner-Kersee, clutching the flowers presented her after Sunday's victory. 'Overall, right now I think I'm very strong.'

Joyner-Kersee wasn't alone in her assault on American records, as Gwen Torrence tied the American mark in the 60 meters in her first-ever race at the distance.

Joyner-Kersee, the world outdoor champion in the long jump and heptathalon and co-world record holder in the outdoor long jump, led from the first hurdle to the finish to register a 7.88 in the 60 meter hurdles, shattering Stephanie Hightower's 1983 American record of 8.02. Hightower placed fifth in Sunday's race.

Joyner-Kersee set an American record in the long jump Saturday night in the U.S. Olympic Invitational in East Rutherford, N.J., jumping 23 feet, 1-2 inch. The world 60-meter hurdles record of 7.74 was set last year by Bulgaria's Yordanka Donkova.

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'Coming into (Sunday), I wanted to run a good race. I didn't know how tight my hamstring was. I was feeling it before the race,' said Joyner-Kersee, deemed the nation's outstanding amateur athlete last year with the Sullivan Award.

Joyner-Kersee has been dogged by a lingering hamstring pull and listed herself as 'about 70 percent there' physically. She said she does not plan to run the hurdles in the upcoming trials for the Seoul Olympic team, saying, 'It's better to be safe than sorry -- not risk the injury.'

Kim McKenzie-Turner placed second to Joyner-Kersee at 8.21.

Torrence matched Alice Brown's American record of 7.18 in the women's 60 meters, edging Evelyn Ashford, who posted a 7.19. Torrence, of the University of Georgia, lost her balance when she leaned past Ashford to ensure the triumph and tumbled hard to the ground at the finish line. She stayed down for approximately five minutes before walking away on her own power.

Of her fall, she said: 'I was going a little bit too fast. You can't lean when you go that fast.'

Torrence, a winner of 37 straight races, relished her record-tying performance.

'It means a lot to me, especially because it's the first time I've ever run at this distance,' she said.

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In addition, Diane Dixon won a tumbling photo finish over Valerie Brisco in the women's 400 meters and world-record holder Greg Foster coasted to victory in the men's 60-meter hurdles.

Dixon, who also downed Brisco Saturday in the Olympic Invitational, registered a 52.30 in the 400 meters, officially beating Brisco by one one-hundreth of a second. Dixon had to rally to catch Brisco at the finish line and the two brushed elbows and fell.

Dixon also won the event here last year.

'I thought she leaned too soon and caught my elbow and I tumbled,' Dixon said.

'I didn't know where the finish line was and I did lean too early,' Brisco said. 'I felt her coming.'

The event, held at George Mason University, was the 11th in the 13-event Grand Prix Indoor Series.

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