March 1, 2008
The Rice women's track and field squad proved that individual titles were not a prerequisite to winning a championship, as they turned a total team effort into their second consecutive Conference USA Indoor title at the Yeoman Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Houston on Saturday.
Jim Bevan's squad, who had to wait until the final relay to claim the 2007 title by just 4 ½ points over UTEP, left little to chance this year, outpointing the Miners 133.5 to 114.5 They clinched the title on the strength of 20 points in the 3,000 meters, as Callie Wells finished third in 9:45.00, followed by Marissa Daniels (9:50.10), Allison Pye (9:53.55), Lennie Waite (9:53.80) and Becky Wade (9:54.06).
"We came into today thinking it would be close," Bevan said afterwards. "Our kids just came out and competed today. I can't say enough about the spirit of this team. I had two girls come to me the day before entries were due and ask to run events they had never run this year. And they both scored points today. We're a better team this year, and it's because of that kind of effort," he added.
"That was a turning point as far as I was concerned," Bevan said. "After that swing in points, I felt like we had the break we needed, and we just had to go out and take care of business the rest of the day."
Walwyn, who also scored with a sixth-place finish in the 200 meters, and fellow senior Lenny Waite drew special praise from Bevan.
"Desarie is our team leader, and she had the best indoor meet of her life," he noted. "Lenny went out and ran three races today, including being a part of the 3,000, and scored in all of them."
Wells won a second bronze medal with a third-place finish in the mile, an effort that Bevan said was perhaps more impressive than her performance as a sophomore when she was named the women's top performer. "It might be hard for some to understand that, but the meet she had today really was a more impressive effort, and it was vital to our winning the title."
Sophomore transfer Sarah Lyons was the Owls only individual champion on the day, streaking to a provisional qualifying time of 54.45 to win the 400 meters.
Bevan also single out the efforts of senior Lacee Carmon, who scored in both the long jump and the 60 meter hurdles. "Each year, Lacee comes into the conference meet as someone not expected to score, and every year she finds a way to contribute. This year, she was ranked 10th in the long jump, but finished fifth, and was ranked 11th in the hurdles and finished seventh."
Thanks to his team's effort, Bevan was again selected by his peers as the Coach of the Year.
2008 C-USA WOMEN's TRACK & FIELD FINAL STANDINGS
1. Rice 133.5
2. UTEP 114.5
3. Memphis 74.5
4. Houston 55
5. Tulane 52
6. UAB 51
7. Tulsa 48
8. UCF 46
9. Southern Miss 34
10. East Carolina 25.5
11. SMU 15
12. Marshall 14
Women 60 Meter Dash Finals
3, Desarie Walwyn, Rice, 7.44.
4, Shakera Reece, Rice, 7.53.
Women 200 Meter Dash Finals
5, Sarah Lyons, Rice, 24.55.
6, Desarie Walwyn, Rice, 24.64.
7, Shakera Reece, Rice, 24.97.
Women 400 Meter Dash Finals
1, Sarah Lyons, Rice, 54.55.
8, Brittany Washington, Rice, 57.57.
Women 800 Meter Run Finals
4, Lennie Waite, Rice, 2:11.84.
7, Victoria Walker, Rice, 2:19.73.
Women 1 Mile Run
3, Callie Wells, Rice, 4:47.55m.
4, Lennie Waite, Rice, 4:49.28m.
5, Nicole Mericle, Rice, 4:59.36.
Women 3000 Meter Run
3, Callie Wells, Rice, 9:45.00.
4, Marissa Daniels, Rice, 9:50.10.
5, Allison Pye, Rice, 9:53.55.
6, Lennie Waite, Rice, 9:53.80.
7, Becky Wade, Rice, 9:54.06.
Women 60 Meter Hurdles Finals
7, Lacee Carmon, Rice, 8.78.
Women 4x400 Meter Relay
4, Rice 3:49.35.
Women High Jump
4, Eunique Hamilton, Rice, 1.68m, (5-06).
Women Pole Vault
1, Rachel Greff, Rice, 4.07mm, (13-04.25).
4, Ariana Ince, Rice, 3.65m, (11-11.75).
Women Long Jump
5, Lacee Carmon, Rice, 5.80m, (19-00.50).
7, Eunique Hamilton, Rice, 5.65m, (18-06.50).
Women Triple Jump
5, Eunique Hamilton, Rice, 12.39m, (40-07.75).
7, Sarah Agara, Rice, 12.20m, (40-00.50).
Women Indoor Pentathlon
7, Andrea Jackson, Rice, 3038.