May 31, 2008
Lincoln, Neb. -- With a bevy of top 10 performances, the Rice Owls women's track and field team placed ninth at the NCAA Midwest Regional held at the University of Nebraska's Ed Weir Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. Rice finished the meet with 31 points, just ahead of Kansas and Texas who each scored 30.
"It was the best finish for Rice in a regional meet since 2004 when we finished sixth," said Rice head coach Jim Bevan. "Across the board we finished higher than we were seeded except for a couple of events. I'm ecstatic about our performance and in how the team performed and finished in the top 10. We are certainly looking forward to going to nationals in Des Moines (Iowa)."
Desarie Walwyn placed eighth in the 100m with a time of 11.77 to start the day for Rice. In the 400m, Sarah Lyons placed fourth by tying her season best mark with a time of 53.11, while Chandra Ewing earned a seventh place finish in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.87. In the 1500m, Callie Wells placed eighth with a time of 4:24.39.
In the 3000m steeplechase, Nicole Mericle placed fifth with a school record time of 10:15.67, which easily surpassed her season best time of 10:35.88 set at the Conference USA Championship in El Paso, Texas. The previous school record was held by freshman Becky Wade who ran the event in 10:29.23 at the J.Fred Duckett/Rice Twilight Meet on April 24, 2008. Wade finished 14th in Saturday's 3000m steeplechase with a time 10:32.93.
Rice's 4x100m relay squad (Sarah Lyons, Shakera Reece, Brittany Washington, and Desarie Walwyn) ran a season best time of 44.85 to place fifth. Its previous fastest time was 45.09. Also, the Owls' 4x400m (Walwyn, Washington, Chandra Ewing, and Lyons) placed sixth with a time of 3:37.19 surpassing the team's previous fastest time of 3:37.68.
In the triple jump freshman Sarah Agara was 19th (12.34m/40-6), while Jenny Glover was 28th at 11.96/39-3.
The Owls currently have four athletes, with the potential to adding nine more, attending the NCAA Outdoor Championship held at Drake University's Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. The final list of competitors will be announced on Tuesday, but confirmed are Rachel Greff (pole vault), Marissa Daniels (10,000m), Sarah Lyons (400m), and Nicole Mericle (3000m steeplechase).
NCAA Midwest Regional Final Top 10 Team Scores
1) Texas A&M 116
2) Texas Tech 66.50
3) Minnesota 53.50
4) Kansas 49
5) Oklahoma 46
6) Texas-El Paso 43
7) Baylor 40
8) Nebraska 37.50
9) Rice 31
10) Kansas State 30
10) Texas 30