Defending NCAA champion Hooker wins high jump crown on day three of Women's Track and Field championships
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Texas women's track and field sophomore Destinee Hooker cleared six consecutive bars and repeated her winning performance from the 2006 NCAA National Championship meet, taking the 2007 NCAA High Jump Championship in clearing 6-3.5 (1.92m) at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. on Friday, June 8.
Hooker's 10 points helped Texas, led by head coach Bev Kearney, finish the third day in a tie for sixth with Georgia at 17 points in the team standings. Arizona State is in first-place totaling 38 points over three days of action. USC (27 points), LSU (26), Texas Tech (23) and Michigan (22) round out the top five.
Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) cleared every height on the first attempt. She battled Alabama's Miruna Mataoanu for the title as both cleared 6-3.50 (1.92m). Both high jumpers missed all three attempts at 6-4.75 (1.95m) but Hooker held the advantage with zero misses against Mataoanu's two.
"(Miruna Matauano) from Alabama is a great competitor," said Hooker. "I just watched her, saying to myself, 'If she clears, then I have to clear. If I don't clear, she will win'."
Hooker is the first Longhorn to ever win the high jump in back-to-back seasons at the NCAA outdoor national meet. She joins Texas ex Erin Aldrich as the only two-time outdoor national champion in UT school history.
"[Winning the NCAA High Jump Championship is] great, it's a blessing, it truly is," continued Hooker. "I'm excited to be out here as a sophomore doing what I need to do to help Texas out, help Bev, and hopefully I can do the same thing now by supporting them from the stands."
She takes her fourth overall All-American honor, adding to the two from 2006, and the fourth-place finish from the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championship meet.
Senior Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) started the scoring for UT with her performance in the discus. The 2005 NCAA Outdoor Shot Put runner-up tossed 174-0 (53.05m) to take sixth and score the first points (3) of the meet for Texas. She finished just ahead of younger sister and Texas Tech sophomore D'Andra Carter (14-5/53.16m).
"It was exciting starting the scoring for my team," said Carter while waiting for the awards presentation. "I'm glad I'm able to contribute points in the discus. It was fun competing with my sister because this is my last year (in college). It will be nice just to watch her instead of competing at the same time."
For the first time in her career, Carter has thrown in the shot put and discus at the NCAA meet, advancing to the finals in both.
"Competing everyday helps me stay focused," said Carter. "It's a little bit different but it helps me to stay focused the whole time. It will be exciting to give as many points to the team as I can."
Carter had the second farthest discus throw of the qualifying round on Wednesday (June 6), nearing the UT school record with her mark of 177-4 (54.06m). She fell just three inches shy of a 26-year-old Texas school record set by Laura Messner in 1981 (177-7).
This season Carter tossed a then-career best discus distance of 174-3 (53.12m) as the runner-up in the NCAA Midwest Region. It was one of two second-place performances at the region championship, as she also finished second by a quarter of an inch in the shot put.
Sprinters Alexandria Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) and Chauntae Bayne (Fort Worth, Texas) added to their career All-American portfolios, finishing sixth and eighth in the 100-meter dash, respectively. Anderson clocked 11.42 seconds and Bayne was timed at 11.46.
The Longhorns faced a setback as the defending NCAA champion 4x100-meter relay did not finish the race because of a missed exchange between the first and second legs. The intended order of the four segments of the 400-relay were junior Jasmine Lee (Norwalk, Calif.), Bayne, senior Jerrika Chapple (Lancaster, Texas) and Anderson.
Texas has three individual competitors on the final day of the national championship meet. Carter makes her final appearance at an NCAA meet in the shot put final at noon (CT). Junior Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind.) will try to finish the season as an All-American for the first time in her career with the 800 final at 12:28 p.m. (CT). Anderson is scheduled for the 200-meter final at 12:58 p.m. (CT).
The 4x400-meter relay will close out the championships at 1:48 p.m. (CT).
The meet will air live on CBS from noon to 2 p.m. (Central).
2007 NCAA Championships
High jump final
4x100-meter relay final