June 5, 2013
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EUGENE, Ore. - With a school-record mark of 6.41 meters (21-1/2), Marshall senior Crystal Walker placed fifth in the long jump Wednesday at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field.
The Dallas, Texas native joined Erin Compton as the program's only NCAA All-Americans. Walker's finish is also the best in program history besting Compton's eighth place in the discus in 2003.
"It feels awesome," Walker said of being a All-American. "My goal coming in to the meet was to make the finals. I was out there just enjoying myself."
It was Walker's third jump that broke the record she set earlier this season of 6.35 meters (20-10). That jump put her with eight others in the finals where the participants got three more jumps. However, none were better than jump No. 3.
"Going to the finals you want to move up, but I did my work early," Walker said.
Walker finished .01 meters out of third place as Jen Clayton (UCF) and Mara Griva (Nebraska) had a top jump of 6.41 meters (21-3/4). Lorraine Ugen (TCU) won the event with a mark of 6.77 meters (22-2.5), while Andrea Geubelle (Kansas) was second with a jump of 6.50 meters (21-4).
"I was prepared," Walker said. "I did have a good week of practice but overall when you get here it's not about who was ranked where, but if you show up that day. I just did what I knew I could do."
Fellow senior Vanessa Jules begins the heptathlon on Thursday at 4 p.m.
"She (Vanessa) asked me `is the trophy heavy,' I said `you're going to find out in a few days,'" said Walker.
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