Feb. 26, 2012
Birmingham, Ala. - The Rice Owls women's track and field squad placed fifth at the 2012 Conference USA Indoor Championship held inside the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Rice concluded the two-day event with 51 points. East Carolina captured the team title with 123 points and UCF was third with 113.5 points.
Senior Becky Wade highlighted the Owls on the second day of action. Wade captured the mile event with a winning time of 4:48.32, her season-best. She then returned to the track and placed second in the 3000m (9:32.95), just behind East Carolina's Brittany Copeland (9:30.08). Senior Allison Pye was fourth in the 3000m with a time of 9:38.33.
"It was an exciting mile race between Becky Wade, SMU's Mary Alenbratt, and UAB's Sarah Hudak. Alenbratt took the lead with 400 meters to go but could not drop Becky," said Owl head coach Jim Bevan. "Becky held behind her until the last 50 meters and then ran away to win her third conference crown in her career."
Hudak placed second at 4:48.80, while Alenbratt was third with a time of 4:48.89.
The 3000m event was just as thrilling.
"It was a slow to fast race with Allison Pye taking the lead with 1000 meters to go and pushing the pace," commented Bevan. "Eventually (Brittany) Copeland from ECU took the lead and distanced herself from from 5000m champion and All-American Risper Kimayo (UTEP) and All-American Becky Wade. Becky came from behind and picked off Kimayo by .01 seconds."
Copeland won the 3000m with a meet record time of 9:30.08 and Kimayo was third, a tick behind Wade at 9:32.96.
In the 800m, the Owls racked up six points. Keltie John chased down two runners to place fifth with a time of 2:12.17. Sophie Peeters was seventh with a time of 2:13.72. John's time was the fastest for her during the indoor season.
"At the end of the day, I wanted our team to let it all hang out and compete and I was very pleased," summed Bevan. "We have work to do for outdoor track, but we had many good performances and a lot of personal bests and that's how you want to compete at the conference championship."
The Owls start the outdoor campaign by hosting the Shirley Crowe Multi-Events held at Holloway Field/Ley Track on March 14-15. The TSU Relays follow on March 16-17 and Rice then hosts the prestigious Victor Lopez Classic on March 23-24.
13, Claire Uke, 13.21m/43-4.25
WOMEN'S TEAM FINAL
1. East Carolina, 123
2. UCF, 113.5
3. Houston, 74
4. Memphis, 62
5. Rice, 51
6. UTEP, 47
7. SMU, 45
8. UAB, 41
8. Southern Miss, 41
10. Tulsa, 30
11. Marshall, 19
12. Tulane, 16.5
2012 WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
High Point Scorer of the Meet - Octavious Freeman, UCF
Performance of the Meet - Jackie Coward, UCF
Freshman of the Meet - Octavious Freeman, UCF
Coach of the Year - Curt Kraft, East Carolina