2016 C-USA Indoor Championships
Birmingham CrossPlex • Birmingham, Alabama
Final Standings: Women – 3rd/13 (102 points)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Rice Owls women’s track and field squad used a late charge Thursday afternoon to finish third overall at the C-USA Indoor Championships.
Rice accumulated 102 total points helped by three individual titles on the final day of competition at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
“We had a great second day and overall we had a tremendous meet,” Rice women’s T&F head coach Jim Bevan said. “We scored 15 points more than we were seeded for going in. We’re disappointed we couldn’t bring home a title, but we had a great meet exceeding our score from last year by 18 points. Overall I’m very pleased with our efforts and the way we competed but we are not satisfied. We are getting Claire Uke back for outdoors and we are looking forward to everyone working hard to improve their performances.”
Just a day after winning the 5000m, junior distance runner Cali Roper duplicated her success by setting a lifetime best to win the 3000m in a time of 9:32.10. Between cross country and track and field, the C-USA title was Roper’s seventh of her collegiate career. In that same event sophomore Elsa Racasan earned all-conference honors by placing third with a lifetime best run of 9:41.40 and junior Katie Jensen picked up another two points with a lifetime best mark of 9:53.28.
The Owls dominated the pole vault with senior Marielle Brisbois (3.96m, season-best) defending her C-USA Indoor title by winning for a second straight season, defeating teammate McKenzie Johnson (3.96m) in fewer attempts. Sophomore Ayane Rossano (4th-3.66m) and freshman Jaylon Wesley (7th-3.51m) also established season-bests and earned the Owls a combined seven points.
Rice’s third individual title of the day came from junior thrower Ijeoma Ugwunze in the shot put, who set a season-best mark with a throw of 14.19m to edge out UTSA’s Mia Hicks (14.18m). The C-USA gold medal was Ugwunze’s first of her career.
In the jumps, junior Cybil Obiozor earned another trip to the medal stand with a third place finish (12.72m) in the triple jump to give the Owls six points. Junior teammate Daisy Ding placed fourth overall (12.67m) in the triple jump after finishing fourth in the high jump (1.70m) earlier in the day for a combined 10 points. Senior Belle MacFarlane also gave the Owls a good performance in the high jump with a fifth place finish of 1.70m.
Racasan also earned all-conference honors in the mile with a third place finish of 4:54.0, followed by a fifth place finish from freshman Abigail Cartwright in the same event.
UTEP (120 points) won the women’s team title followed by WKU (106 points), who edged Rice in the final 4x400 event to earn second place.