Uke Breaks Cavanaugh's 29-year-old School Record
Feb. 26, 2015
BIRMINGHAM, AL - On a day when four Rice Owls won individual titles at the C-USA Indoor Championships, senior thrower Claire Uke shined the brightest by breaking a 29-year-old school record formerly held by Regina Cavanaugh (1986) with a throw of 17.95m (58-10.75) to win the shot put title.
Uke, who won her third consecutive C-USA Indoor title in the shot put, moved to second in the nation behind only Southern Illinois' Raven Saunders (17.99m). The Cedar Hill, Texas native broke Cavanaugh's record on her very first throw (17.68m), and then followed with a heave of 17.72m on her second throw. Uke saved her best for last, shattering her newly set record and lifetime best with the 17.95m heave to seal the victory.
"What she did tonight was unbelievable," Rice women's track and field head coach Jim Bevan said. "When I came to Rice in 1986 I never imagined anyone would touch Regina's record. Tonight she went where no other Rice athlete has gone before and she broke the longest-standing record in program history. Her transformation from being a 45-foot thrower in high school to where she is today speaks volumes to her work ethic and the job done by Coach Nancy Wenzel. She's done a tremendous job developing her. She's now one of the top throwers in the entire nation."
Uke was a part of an Owls squad that finished third overall out of 13 teams with 81.5, just 2.5 back of second place WKU. UTEP won the team title with 122 points. The third place finish by the Owls was the team's highest since 2010.
"Overall this was a really great meet for us," Bevan said. "We had to make some changes since the meet was forced into the one day but we competed exceptionally well."
Joining Uke on the winners stand was Marielle Brisbois (pole vault), Daisy Ding (triple jump) and Cali Roper (5000m). Brisbois, a senior from Dallas, Texas, earned her first championship points of her Rice career by defeating WKU's Ria Moellers (3.85m) in a jump-off with a height of 3.90m (12-09.50). McKenzie Johnson (3.85m) and Alicia Janke (3.70m) also earned a combined 9 points for the Owls by finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the event.
Ding, a sophomore from Sydney, Australia, won the triple jump on her final attempt, moving from third to first on her last attempt of 12.85m (42-02.00). Ding set a lifetime best in the victory by edging out UTEP's Nickevea Wilson (12.64m). Sophomore Cybil Obiozor earned another four points in the event with a fifth place finish, also setting a lifetime best with a mark of 12.28m (40-03.50).
Roper won her first career C-USA Indoor title by blowing away the competition in the 5000m, finishing in a time of 16:14.78. Roper lapped everyone in the field except for UTEP's Joan Jepkirui, who finished in second nearly 30 full seconds behind Roper. The Conroe, Texas native recorded the second-fastest time in Rice history behind only Becky Wade's time of 16:03.13 set in 2012.
The Owls also earned a combined 12 points in the mile thanks to standout performances from Eleanor Wardleworth (3rd-5:00.72), Hannah Kay (4th-5:01.75) and Allie Schaich (8th-5:05.27). Wardleworth medaled for the first time in her collegiate career while Kay set a lifetime best. Wardleworth would later earn five more points for the Owls with a fourth place finish in the 3000m (9:49.00).