Women's Track and Field's Hooker shatters records en route to region championship
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Texas high jumper Destinee Hooker put on one of the best performances of her career, shattering the meet record she set last year, the stadium record set in 2001, and equaled her lifetime-best and this year's American and NCAA leading height of 6-4 (1.93m) in winning the high jump at the 2007 NCAA Midwest Region Championship at Drake Stadium on Friday, May 25.
Behind the support of the 3,793 fans in attendance, Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) cleared 6-4 (1.93m), tying her lifetime best height that won her the 2007 Big 12 Championship. She broke the Drake Stadium record of 6-3.25 set in 2001 by Amy Acuff -- one of the best high jumpers in American history. She broke the NCAA Midwest Region record (6-2.75) she set in winning the 2006 title in Austin.
"I was excited when they said I broke Amy Acuff's record because I've always wanted to break one of her records," said an elated Hooker after competition concluded. "She's an inspiration to a lot of high jumpers and being out here at (the Drake Relays earlier this season) and watching her jump, it's just like, 'Wow, she's an awesome athlete. I want to be like her one of these days.' When they said that (I broke her record), I was really excited and yet I wish she was here to see it."
"Destinee always responds to the things I tell her to do," said event coach Rose Brimmer. "She made the changes on the things that she needed to. She was her normal, relaxed self today. She wasn't where she was too serious or too nervous."
Hooker remains three-quarters of an inch shy of tying the UT school record of 6-4.75 (1.95m) set by Erin Aldrich in 2000, but has her sights set on the almost 20-yeard old American record of 6-6 (1.98m) held by Louise Ritter (1988).
After the region title was won, Hooker attempted that height but did not clear successfully. It is the second consecutive meet (Big 12s) that she has attempted that mark.
"She cleared 6-6 and but just kicked the bar off a little with her leg," continued Brimmer. "She's not staying away from the bar long enough to flip her over the bar. If she hangs and goes over, she's going to clip the bar because she is so long. What she is doing wrong is easily fixed."
Senior Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) added eight points to Texas's score, leaving the Longhorns in second-place with 18 points after the first day's competition. The two-time NCAA Midwest Region champion finished in second place in the shot put, tossing 56-4 (17.17m). She narrowly missed winning her third NCAA Midwest Region championship by less than three inches.
Sophomore All-American Alexandria Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) advanced to the finals of the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. The NCAA national relay champion and one of the nation's leaders in the sprints, Anderson ran 11.26 behind a 0.8 wind in the 100 and clocked 22.93 in the first heat of the 200.
Fellow sprinter Chauntae Bayne (Fort Worth, Texas) joined Anderson in the finals of both short sprints. The senior All-American was the sixth qualifier in the 100, running 11.36 to advance to the finals. In the 200, Bayne ran 23.35 to earn a spot in the finals.
The 4x100-meter relay finished the day one step closer to defending its regional title, finishing the preliminary race in a heat-best 44.08. UT has the second fastest preliminary time, and saw the stadium record that the Longhorns set at the Drake Relays earlier this year broken by Texas A&M (43.83).
Junior Jasmine Lee (Norwalk, Calif.) opened the first segment, Anderson and senior NCAA relay national champion Jerrika Chapple (Lancaster, Texas) ran the middle legs, while Big 12 400-meter champion Bayne anchored the heat winning relay.
In the women's 800-meter run, junior Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind.) qualified for her first regional final, clocking a lifetime best 2:05.61. Fellow middle distance runners sophomore Katara Rosby (Baton Rouge, La.) and freshman Devon Williams (Parksville, Md.) finished in the top 16. Rosby was three-tenths of a second from making the finals with a time of 2:07.96. Williams ran 2:11.53.
Sophomore Kira Robinson (Denver, Colo.) ran 14.14 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles to finish 15th among runners in the preliminary race.
2007 NCAA Midwest Region
NCAA Midwest Region scorers
100-meter dash preliminary (NCAA Reg.: 11.75)
4x100-meter preliminary (NCAA Reg.: 45.70)
100-meter hurdles (NCAA Reg.: 13.92)
400-meter hurdles (NCAA Reg.: 1:00.82)
High jump (NCAA Reg.: 1.75m)
Shot put (NCAA Reg.: 14.30m)