LINCOLN, Neb. -- Texas entered the second and final day of the 2006 Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships in seventh place but wiped away a sizable lead held by host Nebraska to win its fifth Big 12 Indoor title Saturday at NU's Devaney Sports Center. The title is the Longhorns' first league indoor crown since 2003.
Junior All-American Marshevet Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) was named the meet's high-point winner after collecting 30 points and walking away with the 60-meter and 200-meter titles to go with the long jump title she captured on Friday. Her younger sister, freshman Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) continued to create her own legacy at UT, as she easily won her first Big 12 high jump title with a personal-best leap of 6-3.50, which tied the Devaney Sports Center record held by Olympian Amy Acuff. Senior Dee Dee Cortez (Mission, Texas) captured her first career Big 12 title, winning the 600-yard run in a personal-best time of 1:20.93.
"It's a real battle every year here at Nebraska," said UT women's track and field coach Bev Kearney. "We kept fighting and it paid off in the end. We had a phenomenal day, and it was nice to see these ladies win the title they deserved all along."
Texas trailed Nebraska by 40.5 points heading into the second day of the championships, as the Cornhuskers utilized strong performances in the pentathlon to assume the early lead. But, Texas gradually chipped away at the lead before claiming it for good after the 200 meters.
Senior Melaine Walker (Kingston, Jamaica) commenced the Longhorns' charge by taking second in the 60-meter hurdles, recording a personal-best time of 8.06 to collect an NCAA automatic mark. Freshman Kira Robinson (Denver, Colo.) completed a successful Big 12 meet debut with a sixth-place finish in 8.53.to add three points to the UT tally.
Texas garnered 16 points in the 60 meters behind Marshevet Hooker's first-place effort (7.22) and freshman Alexandria Anderson's (Chicago, Ill.) third-place showing (7.34). Hooker's 60-meter win was her first at a Big 12 meet and the first for Texas since 2004 when Sanya Richards clocked 7.21.
The Longhorns added another 18 points with their one-two finish in the 600 yards, as Cortez took first and senior Sheretta Jones (Houston, Texas) took second in 1:21.69. Sophomore Jasmine Lee (Norwalk, Calif.) placed fifth in the 400 meters with a personal best of 55.04 to add another four points. Senior LaTashia Kerr (Houston, Texas) took second but was disqualified after officials suspected she bumped into an opponent during the race.
The Texas rally continued in the 1000 meters as sophomore Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind.) placed second in 2:52.35 and freshman Katara Rosby (Baton Rouge, La.) took fourth in 2:53.20. Freshman Janine Davis (Elizabeth, N.J.) contributed four more points with a fifth-place, personal-best time of 2:09.24 in the 800 meters.
Texas took the lead and never let go after getting terrific performances from Marshevet Hooker, Anderson and Kerr in the 200 meters. Hooker timed a personal-best 23.11 to take top honors, while Anderson placed fourth in a personal-best 23.55 and Kerr placed sixth in 23.91.
Destinee Hooker added to the Longhorns' cushion by easily winning the high jump, taking the second spot on UT's all-time list with a mark of 6-3.50, which she reached on her first attempt. She fell shy on three subsequent attempts of 6-4.75 but handily surpassed the Big 12 meet record and tied the facility record.
Junior Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) contributed eight points with a second-place finish in the shot put (56-9.25). She managed to keep Texas on top by two points heading into the meet's final event, the 4X400-meter relay.
Nebraska needed to finish three points ahead of Texas in the relay to overtake UT for the meet title, but the Longhorn quartet of Jones, Anderson, Walker and Kerr made sure the Cornhuskers would never get the chance. Jones set the tone, leading NU's Sheryl Morgan before giving way to Anderson, who lengthened the lead over the Huskers.
Walker stretched a large gap ahead of Nebraska's Justine Roach, and Kerr put the finishing touches on the Horns' conference crown by giving UT second-place in the event, well ahead of Nebraska. Texas captured the conference championship with 125 points, edging the host Cornhuskers by seven points.
With one championship in hand, Texas will pursue another trophy in two weeks when it heads to Fayetteville, Ark., for the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Big 12 Indoor Championships - Lincoln, Neb.
Final Team Scores
1. TEXAS, 125
2. Nebraska, 118
3. Texas Tech, 68
4. Oklahoma, 61
4. Baylor, 61
6. Kansas State, 60.50
7. Missouri, 58
8. Texas A&M, 56.50
9. Kansas, 45
10. Oklahoma State, 35
11. Colorado, 33