Unfazed by a morning snowstorm that sent other athletes packing, Carl Lewis and Gwen Torrence flashed gold-medal form Saturday to win feature races in the cold, soggy Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
Lewis easily outsprinted three opponents in his first 100 meters of the year, winning in 10.28 seconds. Torrence had a tougher time, holding off a determined charge by Indiana State's NCAA champion, Holli Hyche, to win the 200 in a meet-record 22.40. Hyche finished in 22.66.
Both races were run in challenging conditions, although the heavy snow that fell Saturday morning had given way to rain by early afternoon. But it was only 36 degrees and patches of snow clung to the infield grass as Lewis loosened up.
It was the first snow at the Drake Relays since 1950. Still, the eight-time Olympic gold medalist said he never thought about not running and the near capacity crowd of 18,000 greeted him warmly.
"If the crowd can come out and sit for hours, I can at least run 10 seconds," Lewis said. "I've never been here before. I wouldn't miss this opportunity to run."
Among the athletes who pulled out were the Wisconsin women and Texas El Paso.
The brutal weather didn't drive the Arizona athletes away, and they responded with some good performances. The Wildcats' David Loshonkohl won the hammer with a throw of 217 feet 11 inches; Brenda Sleeuwenhoek won the women's 1,500 in 4:27.70 and four teammates won the women's shuttle hurdle relay in 56.51.
Olympic 800-meter runner Tony Parrilla ran a sizzling 1-minute 44.5-second anchor to overcome three other runners and help Tennessee run a 3:13.28 in the men's sprint medley relay in the 100th Penn Relays in Philadelphia, breaking the Franklin Field and race records of 3:13.65 shared by Seton Hall and Texas.
Tennessee's victory shared the spotlight with Louisiana State's women's 800-meter relay team, anchored by Cheryl Taplin, which set an American record of 1:32.55. The previous mark was 1:32.57, set by Louisiana State in 1989.
Winners of the men's and women's Olympic development 1,500-meter races turned in sparkling times.
Steve Holman, a 1992 Olympian and former Georgetown star, ran the fastest time in the world this year in the men's 1,500, clocking 3:36.95.
Gina Procaccio won the women's 1,500 in 4:09.25, smashing the race record of 4:11.8 set by Diana Richburg in 1984.
Jon Drummond, leadoff runner for the winning American 400-meter relay team in last year's world championships, beat relay teammate Andre Cason in a special 100-yard race. The two were trying to break the American record of 9.21 shared by Charlie Greene and Johnny (Lam) Jones. Drummond won the rarely run race in 9.33, with Cason second in 9.36.
Drummond also ran the anchor leg for a Nike team that won a 400-meter relay in 39.05 and ran the third leg on a Nike team that won an 800-meter relay in 1:20.60. Michael Johnson, the 1993 world champion at 400 meters, ran on both relays.