Feb. 23, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- McKenzie Johnson set a Rice and C-USA record by clearing 4.12 m in the women's pole vault, and became the seventh Rice athlete to win the C-USA Championship in the women's pole vault in eight years.
"I was very happy with our results and our effort today," said Rice Head Coach Jim Bevan. "We had some lifetime bests and outstanding performances today." Johnson, the second-seeded vaulter entering the competition, won the conference championship in just her freshman season. Entering the day's action, her mark of 4.12 would rank 20th in the NCAA.
"It's great to have a freshman to win the conference title," commented Bevan. "It's a testament to [pole vault coach] David Butler and her hard work this season."
"For me as a coach, this was a highlight," added Bevan. "No one had penciled this relay in to medal, with athletes coming back from injury, a converted quarter-miler and a sophomore on the relay, and they exceed expectations to finish third."
Marie Thompson moved up from 13th to finish seventh in the 5000 m, scoring in the C-USA Championship for the first time, running a 17:13.58 and earning two points for the Rice score.
Seniors Sharae Robinson and Casie Wilson both posted lifetime bests in their final indoor meet. Robinson threw the weight 17.03 m, a lifetime best on her last career weight throw, finishing 10th. Wilson just missed finishing in the points, clearing 3.59 m and finishing ninth.
Candace Springer (7.73, 60 m), Precious Knighton (57.48, 200 m), Lilian Nwora (2:13.67, 800m), and Imani Mark (2:16.89, 800 m) all ran season-bests in their events.
Rice currently ranks seventh, but is just four points away from fourth, in the conference meet after one day.
Scoring Events By Rice
1, McKenzie Johnson, 4.12 m
7, Marie Thompson, 17:13.58
Distance Medley Relay:
3, Fowler, McCoy, Nwora, Schaich, 11:44.39