UPDATE - June 18, 2012
Becky Wade set a school record in the 3000m steeplechase Saturday night (June 16) at the USATF Southwest meet held at Rice's Holloway Field/Ley Track.
Wade ran a winning time of 9:48.08 to surpass Lennie Waite's 2009 school-record time of 10:00.30. She will be one of 24 athletes running the steeplechase prelim on June 24 at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. The steeplechase final June 29 will feature 14 runners vying for three spots on the U.S. Olympic Team.
The 2012 London Olympics are fast approaching and there are several former Rice Owls that aspire to compete in the Games.
Becky Wade, a recent Rice graduate, has already qualified in the 10,000m for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. The Dallas native will run the 3000m steeplechase Saturday (June 16) at the USATF Southwest Region Open Championship on the Rice campus at Holloway Field/Ley Track.
Wade needs to make the A Standard time of 9:55.00 to qualify or post one of the top-24 times in the U.S. She runs Saturday night at 9 p.m.
"Becky hopes to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the steeple," stated Rice head coach Jim Bevan. "If she does qualify in the steeplechase, she will not run the 10,000."
Also competing on Saturday at the South Main campus is ex-Owl and 2008 U.S. Olympian Funmi Jimoh. Jimoh will be long jumping at 4 p.m. and will be using this competition in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her best mark thus far for 2012 is 6.82m/22-4.5 accomplished at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and that ranks 14th in the world according to the IAAF.org. Jimoh advanced to the finals placed 12th in the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Lennie Waite, who, along with Jimoh, serves as a volunteer assistant coach at Rice, runs the 3000m steeplechase in Birmingham, England, on June 24 in hopes of making the UK Olympic squad. Waite's fast-time for 2012 is 9:48.35 and that currently ranks third among Great Britains on the IAAF world list.
Another former Owl long jumper, Alice Falaiye, will compete at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Calgary, Alberta (June 27). She captured long jump gold at the 2003 Pan American Games and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Ex-Rice sprinter Shakera Reece will represent her native country of Barbados in the 100m sprint. Reece won bronze in the 100m at the 2011 Pan American Games.
On the men's side, pole vaulter Jason Colwick and decathlete Ryan Harlan will compete in their respective sports at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Colwick won the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles while at Rice. Last summer, Harlan represented the U.S. at the IAAF World Championship in Daegu, South Korea. He won the 2004 NCAA decathlon with a school-record 8,171 points.
One notable athlete competing at Rice on Saturday is high jumper Amy Acuff, who has participated in the last four Olympics. Acuff attended Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, before winning five NCAA high jump titles at UCLA.