April 4, 2014
PALO ALTO, Calif. – The Rice Owls women’s track and field team participated in two different meets to start the weekend, sending three athletes to the Stanford Invitational and a majority of the team to the Sketchers Carl Knight Invitational at Stephen F. Austin.
Out west the Owls got a record-breaking performance from redshirt distance runner Cali Roper in the 5000m. The Conroe, Texas set a new Rice freshman record with a 16:24.55, second-place finish in section 4, behind only St. Louis’ Margo Richardson (16:20.27). The time, which was a PR and the best in C-USA this season entering Friday, will be good enough to qualify Roper to the first round of nationals in late May.
Joining Roper with a NCAA West Qualifying time in the 5,000m was fellow freshman teammate Katie Jensen. The Woodlands, Texas native set a lifetime best time of 16:41.80 to place fourth in the section 5 heat.
Senior Heather Olson bested her season-opening time from last season in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 10:30.53 Friday evening, placing seventh in section 3. Rice was also represented by volunteer assistant coach Lennie Waite, who set a lifetime best time of 9:48.17 to win section 1 of the 3000m steeplechase while trying to prepare for this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – On day one of the Sketchers Carl Knight Invitational the Owls were well-represented in the 1500m run where six Rice athletes placed in the top 10, including a first place finish by junior Allie Schaich.
Schaich, a junior from Suwanee, Georgia, won her first career outdoor event with a time of 4:36.56, just one second off her time at last week’s Victor Lopez Classic. Schaich was followed in the 1500m by Ellen Diemert (2nd- 4:37.50), Meredith Gamble (6th- 4:47.97), Eleanor Wardleworth (7th- 4:48.64), Kathleen Abadie (8th- 4:19.12) and Kylie Cullinan (10th- 4:50.56).
Freshman thrower Dreu Dixson also placed eighth in the hammer throw with a career-best mark of 43.28m.