By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
PASADENA – Blue and gold balloons graced the bright-red Pasadena High School gymnasium on Wednesday. Pasadena’s Alexis Walker and her mother, Ellen, wore baby-blue shirts.
The senior high jumper then signed a national letter of intent to compete for the UCLA track and field program next year.
“All of the goals I set for this year, I’ve already attained,” she said.
“So now all the stress of the goals and pressure of college are done, so I can now just enjoy the rest of my season and jump.”
Walker set a school record of 5 feet, 11 inches in winning the San Gabriel Valley Championships, and she’ll compete for the Pacific League title in the event Friday night at Glendale High. She also had the top qualifying time for the 100- meter hurdles and the second- fastest time in the 300 hurdles.
“It’s a great school, and out of all of them, that’s where I felt most at home when I made my visit,” she said of UCLA.
“For me, they have really good facilities. I really like the jumps coach (Anthony Curran). He is an amazing jumps coach.”
Walker said she looked at seven schools, including USC, Cal State Long Beach, UC Irvine, UNLV and Iowa. Her father, Tim, was a high jumper at USC. He still holds the Trojans’ No. 4 mark, at 7-1/4 in 1977.
“He took the visit with me and he was completely neutral,” Walker said. “He said, `It is up to you to decide.’ ”
Her mother, Ellen, said they made no effort to influence where their daughter would go to college.
“We were just there for support and if she had any questions,” she said. “It was totally her decision.
“I’m just proud. She’s worked really hard to get where she is today. She’s sacrificed a lot of things in school. It’s paid off for her.”