April 3, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas - University of New Mexico junior Sandy Fortner scored a career-high 5,343 points - just 157 shy of the NCAA automatic qualifying standard - to finish sixth in her first heptathlon of the season this afternoon at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Fortner smashed her previous best score in the seven-even competition by 153 points and came within 76 of the 18-year-old UNM record.
Fortner defeated 13 competitors, including three All-Americans: Colorado State's Katie Lloyd, Tiana Riel of Boston College and Texas Tech's Julianne Kennedy.
The Fort Sumner, N.M. product was outstanding in almost every event, including a highlight performance in the shot put on Wednesday when she surpassed the 43-foot mark for the first time in her career (43' 1/4" - 13.11m). The mark was over 2 1/2 feet beyond her previous outdoor best in the event.
Fortner opened day one of the heptathlon with a time of 14.52 - 0.04 seconds off her personal record - in the 100-meter hurdles. She cleared 5' 6 1/2" (1.69m) in the high jump - half an inch off her PR which she set last week in El Paso - and ended the day with a solid time of 25.37 in the 200.
Fortner began today's action with a long jump of 18' 11 3/4" (5.78m) that moved her into fourth place overall and second among collegians. She dropped in the standings after a throw of 96' 9" (29.49m) in the javelin, but finished strong with a time of 2:24.96 - 2.48 seconds off her PR - in the 800.
Fortner became the seventh woman to surpass 5,300 points this spring in the heptathlon as she took a big step towards her first bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She finished 12th in the pentathlon last month in her NCAA Indoor debut.
New Mexico resumes its full slate of track and field competition tomorrow when the sprinters, jumpers and throwers open at the Texas Relays, followed by the distance runners, including the debut of All-American Jeremy Johnson, on Friday night at the Stanford Invitational.