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Hooker shatters record on second jump

4/9/2005

AUSTIN -- Texas' Marshevet Hooker made some big leaps into
the new outdoor track and field season.
The runner-up at the NCAA indoor championships last month,
Hooker set a Texas Relays record on Friday with a jump of 21 feet,
10 inches.
The winning mark came on her second jump on a clear, sunny day
at one of the first major outdoor meets in the country. She seemed
ready to go even farther if Texas coach Bev Kearney hadn't cut her
off after her third attempt, which was six inches shorter.
"I had to beg her for the third jump," Hooker said. "I felt
like I was on a roll. I feel like have a few more inches."
Hooker said Kearney told her to back off because she still has
plenty of work to do at this meet. On Saturday, she'll run the 100
meters and the 400- and 800-meter relays.
The sophomore has been eyeing the NCAA outdoors long jump
national title since her second-place finish indoors last month.
"When I left that meet, I knew it would carry over to
outdoors," she said.
Hooker has emerged as a dominant force for the Longhorns in her
second season. She scored 26 points for Texas at the Big 12 indoors
championships, winning the long jump and finishing second in the 60
and 200 meters.
Already considered a top sprinter, she finished third in the
100-meters at the NCAA championships as a freshman, Hooker's future
as a long jumper is unlimited, Kearney said. She's already made
great strides over her 32nd place finish at the NCAA outdoors
championships here last year when she jumped 18-3 3/4.
"She's trying to take that step up to be a national champion
and an international competitor," Kearney said.
Hooker's meet record leap Friday smashed the previous mark of
21-5 1/2, set in 1997 by Texas' Kim McGruder. The jump of 21-10 was
also the best women's collegiate outdoor mark of the young season.
The previous best of 21-6 1/4 was held by Tina Harris of LSU, who
finished second Friday. Her best jump was eight inches short of
Hooker.
Hooker's mark was a quarter-inch off the Texas school record and
was the third best in the world this year. She said she's pushing
to pass 22 feet but suggests she can go even farther.
"I don't want to put a limit. I don't want to put a wall up
there," she said.
Kearney said Hooker rarely missteps on her approach and is so
naturally gifted as a jumper that she doesn't let her practice more
than once a week.
"I don't want her to over-think the event," Kearney said.
"You never want to coach to the point you take the athlete out of
them."
In the men's long jump, Arizona State's Trevell Quinley leaped
26-9 3/4, the best American mark of the year.
Florida's men posted the fastest college time this year in the
400 relay preliminaries, finishing in 39.1 seconds, nipping LSU's
39.25.
Sophomore Kerron Clement, who last month set the world record in
the indoor 400 meters in 44.57, ran the relay anchor leg for the
Gators.
North Carolina's Vikas Gowda, who competed for India in the 2004
Olympics, won the men's discus with a throw of 202-2, beating
runner-up Sheldon Battle of Kansas by 14 feet.
Texas Tech won its fourth straight Texas Relays title in the
men's sprint medley relay as Johnathan Johnson turned in a 1:46.4
anchor leg in the 800. Johnson has anchored all four of Tech's
winning teams.
Arkansas won the 6,000 relay for the sixth straight with a time
of 15:24.42.
The meet continues Saturday with finals in the sprint events.