High jump specialist Ashleigh Nalty opened her season brilliantly with a leap of 1.67 metres for her college, Missouri Baptist, two weeks ago.
It earned the 19-year-old Caymanian an Athlete of the Week award and qualified her for the CARIFTA championships in Nassau, Bahamas over the Easter weekend.
Freshman Nalty provided the Spartans with their biggest victory on the day. Her jump not only secured first place, but tied her for fourth place in the 2013 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics performance rankings.
When at home Nalty is a member of the Mustang Track Club. Mustang head coach Tyrone Yen said: “It’s an okay jump considering it was her first jump and indoors as well. She is hopeful for CARIFTA but knows she has to be well over 1.70m to medal.
“She was fourth at the CARIFTAs in Bermuda last year and knows what it takes to get on the podium in her last one.
“She has been going to CARIFTA since she was 13 and is very experienced.”
Nalty has won bronze at the 2010 and 2012 Central American and Caribbean Games and is determined to leave her junior status with another medal.