ABILENE – Head ACU track and field coach Keith Barnier Friday announced the addition of Wylie High School regional pole vault champion McKenzie Walker to the Wildcats’ 2014 roster.
Barnier said the addition of Walker and coaches Cory and Angie Aguilar will be vital in transforming the Wildcats’ pole vault program back into one of great distinction.
“Kenzie is a great and well-respected student-athlete and very successful pole vaulter,” said Barnier; “and she is going to be a tremendous asset to our program under the guidance of Cory and Angie.”
Cory was an eight-time all-America for the Wildcats and the only pole vaulter in Lone Star Conference history to win four consecutive titles in the pole vault, while his wife, Angie, is recognized as the first female pole vaulter in NCAA history to win both indoor and outdoor NCAA titles in the same year.
Walker comes to ACU with a personal best of 11-feet, 3-inches. She won back-to-back region I-3A championships as a junior and senior with winning marks of 10-6 and 11-3, respectively, and went on to place sixth at state in each of her three appearances from 2011-13.
A four-time cheerleading champion, Walker also won the District/34-3A title in the 100 hurdles and ran legs for the 400m and 1600m relay teams. Her best 100 hurdles time was clocked at 14.6 seconds and her best 300 hurdles time is 45.1 seconds.
Walker is the second Abilene native to sign with the Wildcats this summer, joining Abilene High distance runner Madeline Jordan, who begins her collegiate career Saturday morning at McMurry’s / Bill Libby Invitational. The women’s race kicks off at 8 a.m. at Grover Nelson Park.
Walker took honors classes at Wylie and made its ‘A’ Honor Roll. She plans to enroll in ACU’s nursing program with hopes of one day becoming a nurse practitioner or CRNA.