Sept. 23, 2008
Being a Division I runner is a huge commitment. There is cross country during the fall followed by indoor track in the winter. The season is topped off with outdoor track to occupy the spring.
To balance practice and schoolwork is a challenge; one that sophomore cross-country runner Becky Wade makes look easy. She not only balances schoolwork and running, but she also volunteers on a regular basis in the Houston community and participates in many other Rice clubs.
Wade earned All-Conference USA selections for all three teams (cross country, indoor track and outdoor track). She also was Rice's top finisher at the NCAA Championship meet with a time of 21:22.9 as the Owls completed their most successful season in program history.
During the outdoor track and field season, Wade qualified to run the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA South Central Regionals in addition to running the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA National meet, coming in 20th.
Wade also had the opportunity to represent the United States this summer at the World Junior Championships in the 10,000-meter steeplechase after coming in first at Junior Nationals. She notched 13th place with a time of 10:24.4.
"My favorite part about World Juniors was getting to meet athletes from all over the world as well the athletes from the United States," Wade said. "It was an honor to represent the United States and Rice University."
Academics are extremely important to Wade. As a political science major, she has aspirations to become either a warden at a jail or work in the criminal justice system. Wade has showed the drive to meet Rice's tough academic standards and was on the President's honor roll in addition to receiving a C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal (GPA of 3.75 or higher).
Wade also makes time in her busy schedule for the Houston community. She volunteered every other weekend at a local homeless shelter last year. Wade assists at the shelter by doing laundry and serving food. Although the program has yet to start up this year, she plans to get it restarted in the near future.
"I really like helping out homeless people because I feel like they are unfortunate and often times it's not their own fault" Wade said.
Wade's commitments don't end there. She participates in many activities on the Rice campus. She is an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and SAAC, a program that allows Rice student-athletes to make an impact not only inside but beyond the hedges of Rice.
Not many people could handle a schedule as busy as Wade's but she is not like most people. Her high performance on the track, as well as in the classroom makes her a role model for most student athletes. But her dedication to helping out the community makes her a role model for everyone. Wade shows us what it means to be one of Tomorrow's leaders.