Calif. runner sets record in the 800 Nicole Teter broke Mary Slaney's 22-year-old mark at the U.S. indoor track championships.

Posted: March 03, 2002

NEW YORK — Crashing through a performance barrier to a new place in history, Nicole Teter of Palo Alto, Calif., shattered the American record for the women's 800 meters yesterday in the U.S. indoor track and field championships.

Leading all the way, Teter, who had never been able to break the two-minute mark, shot to the wire in 1 minute, 58.71 seconds.

The time not only broke Mary Slaney's 22-year-old American standard of 1:58.92, but also ended Teter's string of also-ran finishes in a career that has been mostly unremarkable.

"When I looked at the clock, I was ecstatic," Teter said. "I didn't expect to run this fast, but I expected to break two minutes."

Teter credited her improvement to her new affiliation with the Nike Farm team coached by Frank Gagliano at Stanford.

"Last year, I couldn't get into the races in Europe," Teter said. "Now, I don't think that's going to be a problem."

Happy as the day was for Teter at the Armory Track and Field Center in Upper Manhattan, it ended all too painfully for Philadelphia's Jon Drummond, 33.

The Overbrook high school product, who went on to win relay gold medals in the 2000 Olympic Games and in three world championships, came home third in the men's 60-meter sprint.

Worse yet, Drummond either suffered a hamstring injury or a severe cramp in his left leg that almost kept him from walking to the training room after the race.

Terrance Trammell took the 60 for the second straight year in 6.55 seconds, the same time awarded Jason Smoots, while Drummond's time was 1/10th of a second slower.

In what may have been the last indoor race of her accomplished career, Regina Jacobs captured the women's mile for the third time to raise her total of U.S. titles to 21, a count that includes five indoors, 14 outdoors, and two in cross-country.

Jacobs, 38, endured a sustained battle with Sarah Schwald before taking the lead with 300 yards to go and pulling away to a 10-yard margin of victory. The timers caught Jacobs in 4:32.13.

Jacobs intends to end her career in 2003, she hopes by winning a world championship gold medal in the steeplechase. She plans to devote her training to that event before competing for the first time at Stanford on June 8.

After she had described the pain and difficulty of dealing with the barriers in steeplechase, Jacobs was asked why she would take up an event even more difficult than the middle distances she has always run.

"I wanted an event that more clearly fit my life, with lots of hurdles," Jacobs said. "I figure if I master that before I leave track and field, the rest of my life will be smooth sailing."

It already has created problems for Jacobs' dog, Floyd, who is used to running alongside her in training on the track, but hasn't yet learned what to do at the hurdles.

Living up to the sound of his last name, Nathan Leeper, of Protection Kan., captured the high-jump title for the second straight year, soaring 7 feet, 7 1/4 inches.

That's 17 1/4 inches taller than the top of Leeper's head and the highest any American athlete has cleared this season.

USA Track and Field made a smart move by adding six high school races to the meet schedule and got some of the most spirited races of the day as a result.

The best of them was run by Mesue Francis, Desiree Moorer, Stacy Livingston and Keziah Fernandez, representing Boys and Girls high of Brooklyn.

They blasted through the women's 4x400-meter relay in 3 minutes, 43.63 seconds, the third-fastest performance of all time by a high school team.

Detroit Mumford High, honoring the T-shirt worn by Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, took the men's 4x400 in 3:17.51. Camden finished third, in 3:19.43.

Contact Ron Reid at 215-854-4469 or rreid@phillynews.com.

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