Women's Track and Field claims two national titles at NCAA Outdoor Championships
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Texas landed national titles in the 4x100-meter relay and the high jump Friday to put itself in a tie for first place Friday on day three of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the A.G. Spanos Sports Complex. The Longhorns sit atop the Championship with Big 12 foe Nebraska at 26 points apiece.
Freshman Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) captured Texas' fourth high jump title and her first career NCAA title with a top clearance of 6-2 1/4. Hooker cleared each of her jumps in one attempt and clinched the title when second-place finisher Sheena Gordon of North Carolina failed to clear three attempts at 6-2 1/4. Now a two-time high jump All-American, Hooker registered three attempts at 6-3 1/4 but was unable to clear the bar. She joins her older sister -- four-time NCAA champion Marshevet Hooker -- as a national titlist at Texas.
"I'm just glad I won it," said the excited freshman. "I was trying my best to get more points to help us stay in the hunt for the team title. I saw Marshevet jumping up and down in the corner of my eye. I plan to give my award to her."
Most observers counted out Texas' 4x100-meter relay for top honors without Marshevet Hooker, but the Longhorns pulled through by tying their season-best time for the second-fastest mark in school history at 42.84 to win the event. Sophomore Jasmine Lee (Norwalk, Calif.) ran a solid opening leg before giving way to freshman Alex Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) who kept Texas near the front of the pack. Senior LaTashia Kerr (Houston, Texas), who typically runs the opening leg, ran a tremendous third leg to set up the anchoring Melaine Walker (Kingston, Jamaica), who held off LSU's Kelly Anne Baptiste and USC's Carol Rodriguez to secure Texas' sixth 4x100-meter relay victory and second in as many seasons.
Walker's 4x100-meter relay effort was the first of three solid showings for the native Jamaican. Walker posted a personal best of 12.75 in the 100-meter hurdle final for third place behind collegiate-record holder Virginia Powell of Southern California and Nebraska's Priscilla Lopes. Walker also posted a 400-meter hurdle semifinal round time of 55.63 to advance to Saturday's finals.
Buoyed by her outstanding third leg of the 4x100-meter relay, Kerr took seventh in the 400-meter semifinals with her a personal-best time of 51.88. She will make her first career NCAA individual finals appearance on Saturday.
CBS Sports will air the final two-and-a-half hours of the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Saturday beginning at 2:30 p.m. CDT. Below is a listing of events scheduled to be televised featuring Longhorns.
2:30 p.m. - Shot put - Michelle Carter
NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships - Sacramento, Calif.
High Jump - Finals
4x100-Meter Relay - Finals
100-Meter Hurdles - Finals
400 Meters - Semifinals
400-Meter Hurdles - Semifinals