- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2009

— Shawn Crawford doesn’t have to feel bad about this medal.

The sprinter, who was awarded an Olympic medal he felt he didn’t deserve last year, won a national title he most certainly does Sunday, blowing away the field in the 200-meter final at the U.S. track and field championships in a wind-aided 19.73 seconds.

Allyson Felix joined Crawford as America’s other 200-meter champion. A heavy favorite to win her fifth national title, Felix didn’t disappoint, finishing in 22.02 (also wind-aided) to edge Muna Lee. Marshevet Hooker finished third.

Crawford, 31, blew away newcomer Charles Clark by .27 seconds to win his fourth national title. Instead of saying goodbye, Crawford is simply gearing up again.

“Before this race, I thought I was done,” he said. “After this, maybe I got a little bit more in me than I thought.”

Wallace Spearmon finished third to nab the final spot on the U.S. team heading to worlds later this summer. Tyson Gay has already qualified in the 100 and 200 thanks to his world championships in 2007.

While Gay may be America’s biggest sprint star, nobody has a more intriguing story than Crawford. The latest chapter for the 2004 Olympic champion came when he was awarded the silver medal at the Beijing Games after two runners who finished ahead of him were disqualified for running outside their lanes.

He never felt right about that, so he delivered the medal back to Churandy Martina - a burden off Crawford’s back, even though leaders in the sport refused to remove him from the record book.

“In my heart, I felt he deserved it,” Crawford said.

Crawford will be among the headliners on a U.S. team that also will include newly crowned national champions Christian Cantwell (shot put), Jenn Stuczynski (pole vault), Bershawn Jackson (400 hurdles), Dawn Harper (100 hurdles) and Lopez Lomong (1,500 meters).

Bernard Lagat and Jeremy Wariner also will be on the team based on their 2007 championships even though neither won anything this weekend. Lagat ran only one heat of the 800, and Wariner was eliminated in the semifinals of the 200.

Other American stars not as lucky include Lolo Jones, the top-ranked 100-meter hurdler from 2008 who fell in her semifinal heat, and Olympic heptathlon silver medalist Hyleas Fountain, who was leading before withdrawing with a neck injury. She remained at the hospital Sunday for observation.

Virginia freshman and Whitman High School alumna Morgane Gay finished second to U.S. record-holder Jordan Hasay in the junior women’s 1,500.

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