Feb. 28, 2009
The battle for the Conference USA Women's Indoor Track and Field title promised to be a three-way battle, and after the first day of competition, those predictions have come true. Host Houston holds a slim 31-30 lead over the two-time defending champion Rice Owls while UCA is just four points back with 27.
The Owls rode their depth in the distance events to score the bulk of their points on the first night, finished third, fourth and fifth in the 5,000 meters to open the track competition and closing the night by winning the distance medley relay going away.
Becky Wade led the Owls in the 5,000 meters, finishing with a personal-best and provisional NCAA time of 14:40.90, followed by Allison Pye (16:49.03) and Nicole Mericle (16:52.64). Brittany Williams, Vickie Walker, Sophie Peters and Lennie Waite combined to bring home the gold medal in the relay.
Rice also picked up points in the pentathlon as junior Brittany Blodget scored a career-best 3285 points to finish fifth and in the long jump when junior Shannon Moran set a personal record with a leap of 5.63/18-05.75 to finish eighth.
In addition to their strong contingents in the mile and 3,000 meters, the Owls qualified four runners in the 800 meters, and two each in the 60 hurdles and 400 meters while Shakera Reece qualified in both the 60 and 200 meters.
Competition for the women at 1 p.m. with the triple jump while running finals get underway at 3 p.m. at the Yeoman Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Houston.