April 4, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas - The University of New Mexico tallied two more regional qualifying marks on a windy and rainy third day of competition this afternoon at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Sophomores Alesha Walker and Deanna Young punched their ticket to NCAA regional championships in the long and triple jump, respectively, as each woman recorded the best mark by a Lobo in their event since 1990.
Walker opened the day in the field by winning the section B competition with a career-best leap of 20' 6 1/2" (6.26m) in her outdoor season long jump debut. The Killeen, Texas product used her sixth and final run to record the best mark by a UNM woman since Laverne Clark set the school record of 20' 11 3/4" in 1990.
Walker, who's previous outdoor lifetime best of 19' 7 3/4" came while winning the Texas class 4A state title in 2006, finished 11 inches ahead of her nearest competitor. She joined Young, who jumped 20' 6 1/4" last weekend at UTEP, to become the second Lobo to qualify for the regional meet in the long jump.
Young capped the day with a stellar performance in her first triple jump competition of the spring, becoming the first UNM woman to qualify for regionals in the event. The former Albuquerque Highland High School standout recorded a mark of 42' 5 1/2" (12.94m) - the best at New Mexico since Clark's record of 43' 1 1/2" 18 years ago and almost 2 1/2 feet beyond her previous personal record. Young finished fourth in a field that saw 10 women surpass the NCAA regional standard.
New Mexico wraps up its stay in Austin tomorrow as javelin standouts Katie Coronado and Anthony Fairbanks, and All-America pole vaulter Robert Caldwell take on the elite section A competition in their respective events.
Many of the Lobos' distance standouts, including All-American Jeremy Johnson, will make their season debuts tonight at Stanford. Johnson, who was recently awarded a sixth year of eligibility, will tune-up with a 1,500-meter race.
Visit GoStanford.com for complete results and check back on Saturday morning for a full recap of the Lobo highlights from the Stanford Invitational.