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Like father, like daughter.

Byline: Ron Bellamy and Jeff Smith The Register-Guard

Strolling behind the Hayward Field scoreboard Sunday, Willie McGee didn't get stopped by anybody or receive any double-looks from fans.

Instead, one of the more popular baseball players in the rich St. Louis Cardinals history blended in with the thousands of other proud parents who were in town this week for the USA National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.

McGee, who stole 56 bases and hit .353 en route to being named the 1985 NL MVP, has a newfound respect for track and field after watching his daughter Whitney over the years.

"It's a lot harder than baseball," said McGee, who, at the age of 46, still looks like he could steal a few bases. "It's mind over matter."

McGee, who never participated in track but wishes he did, had plenty to cheer about Sunday. Whitney, competing for Acorn Oscar Bailey Track Club out of Berkeley, Calif., swept the Youth Girls (age 13-14) 100-meter hurdles (14.40) and 200 hurdles (26.98).

"She's awesome," McGee said. "She's blessed with that speed."

McGee, who played for St. Louis, Oakland, San Francisco and Boston in an 18-year career, also gushed about the Junior Olympic meet as a whole.

"Aw man, I've never seen anything like it," McGee said. "It's amazing. I'm starting to really like track."

Gotta be the shoes, cont.

John Yarbrough had a new pair of Nikes, courtesy of Nike, for the final of the Young Men's 110-meter hurdles Sunday.

The Ole Miss sophomore-to-be finished third in 13.96, or "faster than when I ran with one shoe on."

In the prelim Saturday, Yarbrough's left shoe, from a brand new pair of Nike spikes, split apart during his race. Yarbrough said his coach bought him a new pair that afternoon, but when Nike representatives read in The Register-Guard on Sunday morning about what happened to Yarbrough, they contacted his coach, allowed him to return the latest pair he bought, and let Yarbrough pick out a new set for the race.

Of ice and IVs

Doctors and trainers stayed busy during the Junior Olympics.

Dr. Justin Montoya of Junction City, the meet's medical director, said they dealt with many instances of heat exhaustion and dehydration, especially when the weather was hottest early in the meet, in the distance races and longer relays.

At least 30 athletes per day were treated for pulled muscles or sore muscles, he said.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 2, 2004
Words:405
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