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LSU's Carter completes historic effort

Xavier Carter can claim one of the greatest performances in the history of college track, one so good that it rivals none other than Jesse Owens.

The LSU sophomore became the first person to win the 100 and 400 meters at the NCAA track and field championships yesterday, running down the competition in races just 31 minutes apart at Sacramento.

He finished his day as the anchor of the winning 1,600-meter relay team. Combined with the winning 400 relay team Friday night, he had a share of four NCAA event titles.

According to meet officials, Carter is the first to achieve four NCAA victories since Owens won both short sprints, the 220-yard low hurdles and long jump for Ohio State in 1935 and '36.

``It's really not going to hit me until a few weeks later," Carter said. ``Jesse Owens, he's a legend. He's the one who started track and field. I feel honored just being put in the same sentence as Jesse Owens."

The 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound sophomore, who also plays football for the Tigers, had personal bests in both individual events -- a school-record 10.09 seconds in the 100, followed by a 44.53 in the 400.

Carter's magnificent one-man show wasn't enough to prevent deep and talented Florida State from winning its first men's team title with 67 points. LSU was second with 51 -- 40 of them thanks to Carter. Texas was third with 36. Auburn won its first women's crown with 57 points. Southern California was second with 38 1/2 and South Carolina third with 38.

Carter had intended to run the 200 and 400, but changed his plans because of the crowded meet schedule.

Carter burst through over the final 30 meters to beat defending champion Walter Dix of Florida State in the 100. He broke out of the blocks slowly and was well behind Dix halfway through the race, but his late burst gave him the victory. In the 400, Carter appeared to be laboring on the final turn, but still had enough left to outkick the competition. Ricardo Chambers of Florida State was second at 44.71.

When he crossed the finish line, Carter crossed his arms in a triumphant ``X" for Xavier. Later, he professed equal love for track and football, and said he wasn't ready to give either of them up.

That means another year of college battles with Dix.

The Florida State sophomore, bothered by injuries all season, came back to win the 200 in 20.30, then vowed to return for another year of college.

``I've got some records I want to break," he said.

In an extremely close women's 100, South Carolina sophomore Amberly Nesbitt surprised herself with a victory in 11.34. Nesbitt missed a month of competition and training with a right hamstring injury.

Oregon freshman Rebekah Noble won the women's 800 in a personal-best 2 minutes 2.07 seconds, running down another freshman, Heather Dorniden of Minnesota at the finish. North Carolina senior Laura Gerraughty of Nashua, N.H. won the shot put with a throw of 60-1 1/4.

Texas's hopes for a second straight team title already had vanished, but a top three finish was still possible before the 400 hurdles. Texas's Melanie Walker apparently won the event but was disqualified for going around the sixth hurdle with her lead leg.

Georgia Tech 12, Charleston 3 -- Georgia Tech ended its recent history of upset losses in NCAA Super Regionals by beating College of Charleston, 12-3, completing a two-game sweep in Atlanta to earn its first College World Series berth since 2002.

Whit Robbins and Jeff Kindel hit two-run homers and Lee Hyde gave up six hits and two earned runs in eight innings as the Yellow Jackets (50-16) earned their third CWS berth, all in 13 seasons under coach Danny Hall. In Hall's first season in 1994, Georgia Tech lost in the CWS championship game.

Hyde (6-0), a lefthander drafted in the fourth round last week by the Braves, retired 11 straight before issuing a walk in the seventh. Of his six hits allowed, three didn't leave the infield.

S. Carolina 15, Georgia 6 -- At Athens, Ga., the Gamecocks homered eight times, including a record five in a row, to rout the host Bulldogs in the first game of their NCAA Super Regional.

Already leading, 3-0, on Andrew Crisp's homer in the first inning, South Carolina (41-23) got consecutive homers in the second from Neil Giesler, Justin Smoak, Phil Disher, Crisp, and Robbie Grinestaff to take a 9-0 lead.

South Carolina tied the collegiate record set by Eastern Illinois against Morehead State in the fifth inning April 10, 1998.

Clemson 6, Oral Roberts 5 -- Stan Widmann's two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning put Clemson ahead for good and lifted the Tigers into the College World Series with a 6-5 victory over Oral Roberts at Clemson, S.C.

Widmann's hit capped a second straight late-game rally for Clemson (52-14).

Mississippi 11, Miami 9 -- Zack Cozart and Mark Wright homered to help the Rebels (44-20) rally from a 9-3 deficit and beat the Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Oxford, Miss. Super Regional.

Rice 10, Oklahoma 4 -- Brian Friday and Josh Rodriguez hit consecutive home runs in a four-run first inning to lead the Owls (54-10) over the Sooners in the opener of their series in Houston.

North Carolina 8, Alabama 7 -- Chad Flack hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and a two-run shot in the ninth, lifting the Tar Heels over the Crimson Tide at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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