By Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
AUSTIN, Texas -- Rice sophomores Daisy Ding and Cybil Obiozor each finished in the top 12 of the triple jump at Saturday's NCAA West Prelims to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon later in June.
"What a great day for our two triple jumpers," Rice women's track and field head coach Jim Bevan said. "Once Daisy landed her first jump we knew it was good enough to punch her ticket to Oregon. She was just rock-steady from the beginning."
"Cybil was one of the most outstanding performances I've seen," Bevan said. "She has sprinted in three weeks because of a hamstring injury and had not come down a runway at full speed. With all the pressure on her back, needing that final jump, she recorded the second-best mark of her life. It's not easy to do something like that when your confidence isn't high and you're afraid the hamstring might pop. I can't overstate what a performance it was and a lot of credit goes to our volunteer coach Robert Wagoner."
Ding, from Sydney, Australia, placed eighth overall by coming out of the gates strong, jumping 12.87m (42-02.75) on her first attempt. That mark was the second-best performance of the season for the reigning C-USA Outdoor champion.
Obiozor, a native of Pearland, Texas, saved her best for last with a leap of 12.79m (41-11.50) to squeak by Nebraska's Angela Mercurio for the 12th and final qualifying spot.
Ding and Obiozor became the first triple jumpers in Owls' history to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships since Claudia Haywood accomplished the feat in 1993. That season Haywood would become the sixth Owl to win an NCAA Outdoor title.