Owls field athletes headed to NCAA Outdoor National Championships
Four athletes primed for Saturday events
Fourth in school history
Roper wins third consecutive 10,000m title
C-USA Championships begin next week in Murfreesboro
The Rice Owls head to Birmingham to compete at the C-USA Indoor Championships.
2008 Conference USA Indoor Coach of the Year
2008 Conference USA Outdoor Coach of the Year
2007 NCAA South Central Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year
2007 Conference USA Cross Country Coach of the Year
2007 Conference USA Outdoor Coach of the Year
2007 Conference USA Indoor Coach of the Year
2005 Conference USA Cross Country Coach of the Year
2002 Western Athletic Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year
1999 Western Athletic Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year
1994 Southwest Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year
Veteran cross country and track and field coach Jim Bevan enters his 30th (2015-16) season with the Rice women’s track and field program and his 11th year as head coach of the Rice Owls.
Since Rice became a member of Conference USA and under Bevan’s tutelage, the Owls have been one of the league’s annual contenders for the team trophy and have captured team titles in cross country (2005, 2007), indoor (2007, 2008) and outdoor (2007, 2008).
The Owls were one of only two teams in the nation in 2008 to win the triple crown by winning conference titles in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. He also coached U.S. Olympic long jumper Funmi Jimoh in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Under Bevan’s watch Daisy Ding earned 2015 First-Team All-American honors by placing eighth in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. That came on th heels of earning C-USA Field Performer of the Meet honors after winning a triple jump title at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. Bevan also had a huge impact on a banner season for distance runner Cali Roper, who began the year by becoming the first Owl to win the C-USA cross country title and was named the C-USA Athlete of the Year. Roper followed that up by winning the 5000m title at the C-USA Indoor Championships, earning the C-USA Indoor Track Performer of the Meet honors. Roper capped off the year by winning her second consecutive CUSA Outdoor 10,000m title to earn C-USA Co-Track Performer of the Meet honors.
Also in 2014-15, the women’s cross country team posted the highest GPA (3.76) amongst all qualifying C-USA teams. The Owls were named a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team and Katie Jensen and Cali Roper were each named to the C-USA AllAcademic Team. Under Bevan’s watch the women’s track and field squad won their second straight Sport Academic Award with a team GPA of 3.57. Belle MacFarlane was named the C-USA Women’s Track and Field Scholar Athlete of the Year and joined Roper on the C-USA All-Academic Team.
Bevan, was awarded his first South Central Regional Coach of the Year Award in cross country when the Owls made history in the fall of 2007 by winning the program’s first ever NCAA South Central Regional championship to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. He also earned C-USA Coach for the Year Award when the Owls won the 2007 conference title. It was Bevan’s fifth conference cross country coaching honor and his second in C-USA. Previously, the Southwest Conference honored Bevan after the Owls’ 1994 championship and by the Western Athletic Conference following Rice’s team titles in 1999 and 2002. He won his first C-USA award when his cross country team captured the school’s first title in its new conference in the fall of 2005.
Bevan earned the C-USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Coaches Choice Award for cross country in 2007. The award recognizes the coach most committed to fostering student-athlete development and welfare through a positive athletic and academic atmosphere. Bevan’s insistence on the importance of academics is epitomized by his perfect graduation rate amongst Rice student-athletes with whom he has worked. Two of Bevan’s athletes, Marissa Daniels for cross country and Callie Wells for track and field, earned 2006-07 C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards as the top student athletes in their sports.
Bevan’s cross country runners have also prospered during the track season. Julie Jiskra placed fourth in the 10,000 meters at the 1991 NCAA outdoor meet, Nicole Aleskowitch finished fourth in the 3000 meters at the 1994 NCAA outdoor meet, and Canadian Candace Lessmeister was an eight-time SWC middle-distance champion and the runner-up in the mile at the national indoor meet in 1994. Stacy Swank garnered All-America honors in the 3,000 in 1995, while Shaquandra Roberson earned All-America honors in 2000 following her fourth-place finishes at the NCAA outdoor championships in the 800- and 1500-meters, the only runner in the nation to double as an all-American that year.
Under Bevan, Rice has been a consistent force in the distance medley relay. In 1999, the distance medley relay team, comprised of Kari Vigerstol, Margaret Fox, Aimee Teteris and Erin Brand, won the USA Track and Field Championships and finished sixth at the NCAA championships. The 2000 DMR crew of Vigerstol, Teteris, Allison Beckford, and Roberson, set the Rice record of 11:15.70 with a sixthplace finish at the NCAA indoor championships.
Claudia Haywood won five SWC championships, earned four all-America honors and captured both the NCAA and USA outdoor triple jump titles in 1993. Jumpers Sonya Henry, Diane Somerville, Yvette Haynes and, Alice Falaiye have all earned All-America honors under his direction. Falaiye later competed in the 2001 world championships and went on to win the long jump gold medal in the 2003 Pan American Games.
Before joining the Rice staff in 1986, he was an assistant men’s track and cross country coach for three years at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. Bevan was an assistant to Dr. Joe I. Vigil, the U.S. distance coach for the 1988 and 2008 Olympics, the 1991 U.S. Pan American team head coach and a seven-time U.S. Cross Country coach.
While Bevan was at Adams State, they won three consecutive NAIA cross country titles and set an NAIA scoring record at the national meet. The school has won more cross country national championships than any other school in the country (30). Bevan graduated from Adams State in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in history and physical education. In the summer of 1986, he earned his master’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from Adams State as well. Bevan is a USATF certified Level I and Level II coach.
Jim and his wife, Vicki, reside in Houston.
|Bevan at Rice|
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