MU's Walker grabs 5th at nationals
EUGENE, Ore. -- Marshall Thundering Herd senior Crystal Walker set a school record in the long jump Wednesday while placing fifth in the nation in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.
Walker finished third in the first flight with a jump of 21-feet, 1/2-inch, or 6.41 meters, which was just a hundredth of a meter off of second place finisher Jen Clayton, of UCF.
Andrea Geubelle, of the University of Kansas, took first place in the first flight with a jump of 21-4 (6.50 meters).
Walker's jump qualified her for the finals, where she fouled twice and put up one jump of 20-51/4, or 6.23 meters.
She finished fifth in a field of 24 competitors.
No one could surpass Lorraine Ugen TCU who, after putting up two of the lowest scores in the second flight on her first two jumps, finished with a winning finals leap of 22 feet, 21/2 inches, or 6.77 meters.
Walker achieved All-American first team status.
She, along with senior teammate Vanessa Jules, are two of only three Herd women's track and field athletes in the history of the program to qualify for nationals.
Walker has qualified for the championships twice, and Jules has made it to the finals three times.
Jules will participate in the heptathlon on Thursday and Friday. She finished first in the event at the Conference USA meet, setting a conference and school record with a score of 5,807. That score is second best among the 24 competitors at the nationals.
Jules said it's her goal to score 6,000 at the national competition.