March 5, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas - Attaining the title All-American is no easy task. Only the best of the best get that honor.
Senior Jasmine Walls is one of the best. Walls blew away the competition all year in the indoor portion of the track and field season. She earned All-American status last season in the 200 meters with a time of 23.33 at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.
Sometimes being one of the best means that you can take it easy and relax. Walls believes being one of the best means that she should live up to it.
"You're always going to try and defend your title and try not to embarrass yourself," said Walls.
Walls, is quick to point out that help from the UTA coaching staff is why she is in this position today.
Last Friday and Saturday Walls had the opportunity to defend the title she was given. She ran a career best 7.55 in the 60 meter dash and placed first in both events that she competed in. The sprinter believes that the Southland Conference Indoor Championships was the best meet she has run this far in her four year career.
"It was my best performance indoor," Walls said. "It was my second time in the 200 and I ran my personal best in the 60. I competed the same as I would at any other meet."
Even though she placed first in both events, her desire to get better will not let her settle. More training and endurance are in her plans for the upcoming weeks.
"I don't think there is anything I could have done better at the meet," Walls said. "I still need training. We had a talk yesterday and with a little more endurance work we should be able to come back harder and win the 4x440."
Although track is usually considered to be an individual sport, Walls is quick to praise the push that the women's team made on the second day of the event.
"I feel that was our best competition and we really competed as a team. We came together and our freshman stepped it up," Walls said.
But Walls didn't leave it at that. Freshman Shannon Reynolds and Junior Antonia Hopkins also had great times at the championship meet. Walls made a point to share her praise for the two.
"She blew me away in her 60," Walls said of Reynolds. "I knew she could and came through."
Hopkins impressed Walls in a different way. Hopkins ran two events with only a thirty minute break in between and still finished only fractions of a second behind Walls in the 200 meter dash.
"It's crazy. I don't even know how she does it," Walls said. "She's strong."
Walls knows that the women's team did their best and the result is something she can live with.
Her personal results are something she can live with as well. The last chance meet on Saturday is the final indoor meet of the year. Walls could go and try to make the NCAA provisional time to qualify for the NCAA meet. Instead? She's just going to take it easy.
"I think I'm just going to chill," Walls said, holding back a smile. "The 7.55 was a really big thing for me so I'm just going to focus on outdoor."
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