Marion Jones Finishes Dead Last - Lack of steroids or pregnancy?
Last week we told you about Marion Jones running her first race in ages. This weekend she ran in the Mt. San Antonio College relays in the 400 meters. The result wasn't pretty. Marion Jones finished dead last. Mark Seigler of the Union Tribune has some great things to say.
Mark Zeigler relates how a pipe broke prior to the meet and covered the track in water. The water was cleaned up by the time the meet started, but as Mark says:
Because Marion Jones probably could have swam 400 meters faster than she ran it.
Yes, she looked that bad. That slow.
Mark continues with a great article:
Jones finished last in a (excuse the pun) watered-down 400 meters, hanging with the field for the first 250 meters, then fading noticeably down the stretch. Her time of 55.03 seconds was nearly two seconds slower than the fifth-place finisher in the field of six, and eighth-tenths of a second slower than Jones ran as a freshman in high school.
Wow. How horrible is that finish?
Mark lets us know that the field at Mt. San Antonio College track meet was custom made for her:
Cognizant that this was Jones' first race since the Athens Olympics and that she might not, ahem, be her pre-BALCO self, meet organizers put together a soft field for her – even making San Diego State alum Tonette Dyer and several other promising quarter-milers run in something called the Olympic Development 400 even though three of the nine lanes were open in the invitational race.
Mark really sums it up with this line:
If Jones were in high school, her 55.03 would rank ninth on the 2005 national prep list for 400 meters.
Amazing. Is this the new Marion Jones or the same Marion Jones or the old Marion Jones? We get to find out next week when she is scheduled to compete in the Kansas Relays.