March 9, 2008
SEATTLE - University of New Mexico sophomore Alesha Walker broke her own school record with an NCAA provisional qualifying leap of 20' 1 ½" (6.13m) to win the event on Saturday at Washington's Last Chance Qualifier. Walker added one inch to her week-old indoor record, but is not expected to earn a bid to the NCAA Indoor Championship meet, which begins on Friday, March 15 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Walker was one of several Lobos to perform well on Saturday in Seattle, although none of the five secured a spot in the NCAA field.
Sophomore Deanna Young won the triple jump with a mark of 40' 10 ¼" (12.45m), but did not improve on her provisional qualifying mark. Young jumped a school record 42' 7" last week at the Mountain West Conference Championships, but ranked 19th, she will likely be one of the last triple jumpers left out of the national meet.
Elsewhere, junior transfer Mat Ashton clocked a season-best time of 4:06.76 in his first mile race of the year. Ashton, however, used the race to prepare for a hopeful NCAA bid in the 5,000 meters. He entered the weekend ranked 17th in the 5K and will be on the bubble when the NCAA selections are announced on Monday.
Fellow junior Lee Emanuel did not fare as well in the mile as he was forced to pull out of the race. Emanuel entered the weekend ranked 34th with a school record time of 4:02.47.
Senior Robert Caldwell was also unable to improve on his season-best mark in the pole vault as he was unable to clear his opening height of 16' 6 ¾" (5.05m).
Junior Sandy Fortner is the Lobos' strongest candidate to advance to the NCAA Championships. Fortner is ranked 14th in the pentathlon with a school record score of 4,005, recorded last week at the MWC Championships.