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Chaunte Lowe sets high jump record

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Chaunte Lowe set an American record in the women's high jump Sunday at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The 28-year-old Lowe cleared 6 feet, 7 inches on her third attempt, eclipsing Tisha Walker, who went 6-7 on Feb. 28, 1998.

"I felt that it was there," Lowe said of her record-breaking jump. "I knew in my practice sessions that it was really possible for it to happen today. So I was just thinking about the common mistakes that I make and just trying to force myself not to make those mistakes today."

Lowe failed in three attempts at 6-8 1/4. It's Lowe's third indoor title, the others coming in 2006 and 2010. But this one, she said, is special because she gave birth to a baby girl last April.

"I think the thing that means the most to me is being able to come back on the world stage and say, 'OK, I'm valid again,' " Lowe said. "There's always those questions marks after you've had a child. And so being able to come back on the world scene means a lot to me."

It was the only national record set at the event, but Trell Kimmons turned in the world's best time in the men's 60-meter dash in 6.45 seconds. It was a personal best for Kimmons and 0.06 seconds off Maurice Greene's 11-year-old world record.

"It's a blessing," he said. "I'm healthy and this is what I've been aiming for: to be the U.S. champion and to be the fastest man in the world."

By holding off a late push from Brenda Martinez, Jennifer Simpson successfully defended her title in the 1,500-meter run in 4:15.04, giving her consecutive sweeps of the two distances races.

"I was coming down the home stretch and everybody's going crazy so I didn't hear her," Simpson said. "But you know when you hear that, that something's going on. And so you don't shut it down."

In the 60-meter hurdles finals, Dexter Faulk, who turned in the top American time of the year in Saturday's preliminaries, false-started. She ran again under protest and false-started again, paving the way for Aries Merritt to earn his first championship.

"When I finally got going, I just worked on what I've been working on in practice," he said. "I tried to execute as best as I could. My coach told me that in my set position, my butt wasn't coming up high enough so I wasn't in a power position. It was too low. So I made that one little correction and I had a pretty clean race."