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Jules leads MU to 5th-place finish in C-USA

May. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University women's track and field athlete Vanessa Jules won the Conference USA women's high jump Sunday after winning the heptathlon on Friday.

Jules led Marshall to its best-ever fifth-place finish in the conference championships.

Marshall also had a win by Crystal Walker in the triple jump.

UCF captured the team title in a 12-team competition at Rice University-Holloway Field in Houston. SMU was second (99.50) followed by Houston (81), Memphis (79) and Marshall (63).

"It was an unbelievable performance by my team and my coaching staff this weekend," Marshall head coach Jeff Small said. "I have never been prouder of a team or staff in my career."

Jules received the Performance of the Meet award that is given to the student-athlete with the best overall performance.

The senior from Silver Spring, Md., won the high jump by clearing 5-feet, 10 inches and also placed sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a school-record time of 13.67 seconds.

Her heptathlon performance with a school and conference-record total of 5,807 points made Jules an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships. The NCAA First round, formerly known as the NCAA Regionals, is May 23-25 in Greensboro, N.C.

"I was shocked," Jules said of her award. "I didn't know I was going to have a record-breaking day in the heptathlon. I pulled it out because I really really wanted it. It was my senior year and I really wanted to go out with a bang."

Walker, a senior from Dallas, was first in the triple jump with a leap of 41-feet, 8.50 inches.

Senior Amanda Kennedy from Bentleyville, Pa., earned all-conference honors with a third-place finish in the javelin with a throw of 150-feet, 7 inches.

Marshall had a school-record performance in the 4x400-meter relay with Amber Pierson, Kearra Haynes, Loren dyer and Shanice Johnson placing third with a time of 3:37.58.

The 4x100-meter relay school record also fell with Johnson, Walker, Elaine Derricott and Haynes clocking a sixth-place time of 45.35 seconds.

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