April 13, 2008
EL PASO, Texas - University of New Mexico sophomore Alesha Walker flew 21' 4" (6.50m) to break the 18-year-old school record in the long jump on Saturday afternoon at the UTEP Invitational. The Killeen, Texas product surpassed All-American Lavern Clarke's 1990 mark by 4 1/4 inches to move up to third in the current national rankings and tied for fourth on the Mountain West Conference all-time list.
Walker was the top collegian in the field, trailing only former Rice standout Funmi Jimoh - the 2007 NCAA Midwest Region long jump champion - who won with a leap of 22' 1" (6.73). She finished ahead of several notable jumpers, including former World Indoor and USA Outdoor champion Dawn Burrell-Campbell and former Rice All-American and Pan-Am Games champion Alice Falaiye.
Elsewhere at Kidd Field, senior Tiyana Peters turned in her best performance of the season, matching her career best with a leap of 5' 10" (1.78m) to win the high jump. Peters, who has won three consecutive indoor/outdoor MWC high jump titles, continues to lead the conference in the event.
Junior Katie Coronado cruised to her fourth women's javelin victory in as many meets, handling the field with a throw of 162' 4" (49.49m). Coronado finished over 21 feet ahead of the nearest competitor and defeated former UTEP All-American and 2007 NCAA runner-up Erma Gene Evans (3rd, 137' 5") for the first time.
The Lobos also received strong performances from sophomore Deanna Young and junior Sandy Fortner. Young finished third in the triple jump with a mark of 41' 10 1/2" (12.76m), trailing only UTEP All-Americans Blessing Okagbare and Nelly Tchayem. Fortner, meanwhile, was eighth in the long jump (fifth collegian) with a career-best outdoor jump of 19' 4 3/4" (5.91m).