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Marshall's Walker qualifies for NCAA nationals in long jump

May. 24, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Third place in the long jump in the NCAA East Preliminary Round was good enough to earn Marshall University senior Crystal Walker a spot in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships next week at the University of Oregon.

Walker recorded a leap of 20-feet, 6.5 inches (6.26 meters) Thursday at North Carolina A&T University.

Marshall Thundering Herd women's track and field has eight athletes at the meet that runs through Saturday.

Walker became only the third Herd track and field competitor in program history to qualify for the national championships. Fellow senior Vanessa Jules already has a spot secured in the heptathlon, and Erin Crompton qualified in the hammer throw in 2003.

Jules also competed in the long jump Thursday, with a distance of 19-8 1/4 (6.0 meters) which landed her 21st in the field of 46.

She will compete Friday in the 100-meter hurdles and high jump Friday. Marshall's Amanda Kennedy will compete Friday in the javelin.

Marshall entered the regional competition ranked No. 40 in the nation, the highest ranking the team has ever achieved.

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