By Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
AUSTIN, Texas -- Rice sophomore distance runner Cali Roper put a finishing touch on a stellar sophomore season by placing 18th in the 10,000m at Thursday's NCAA West Prelims at the University of Texas.
Roper, who was seeded 20th in the 10,000m entering Thursday's race, closed her sensational season campaign by finishing in a time of 35:17.20, just six spots back of qualifying for NCAA Outdoor Championships.
"Cali dropped off the pack with 3500 meters to," Rice women's track and field head coach Jim Bevan said. "She was seeded 20th and finished 18th, we were hoping for top 12 but didn't make it. She's had a great year so now we have to learn and move forward."
This season Roper captured C-USA titles during the outdoor season 10,000m (36:14.70), indoor season 5,000m (16:14.78) and was the cross country champion (16:43). The Conroe, Texas native was named the C-USA Co-Outdoor Track Performer of the Year and was the first Owl to ever win a C-USA cross country title. In addition, Roper was recently selected to the 11-person C-USA All-Academic squad.