By Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
EUGENE, OR -- Rice sophomore jumper Daisy Ding earned USTFCCCA First-Team All-American honors by placing eighth in the triple jump at Saturday's NCAA Outdoor Championships at Historic Hayward Field.
The Sydney, Australia native had a career day by establishing a new personal best mark of 13.18m (43-03.00) on her final attempt. Ding had secured a spot in the top eight to advance to the finals by jumping 13.17m (43-02.50) on her second attempt following an initial mark of 12.72m (41-08.75).
After a foul on her third attempt, Ding opened the final three rounds by surpassing 13 meters again (13.14m). At day's end the sophomore had the three best jumps of her career and became the first women's outdoor track and field athlete to earn First-Team All-American honors since Becky Wade (10,000m) in 2012.
Ding, who won C-USA titles in the indoor and outdoor seasons, also became the first Owls triple jumper to earn All-American honors since Claudia Haywood won the NCAA title in 1993. She entered Saturday seeded 15th in the triple jump, improving by seven spots.
"Daisy performed superbly, jumping over her personal best three times and closing with a personal best in the final round," Rice women's T&F head coach Jim Bevan said. "She has improved by a foot and a half this year and has become a great, big meet competitor."
Also competing in Oregon in the triple jump was Rice sophomore Cybil Obiozor, who earned USTFCCCA All-American Honorable Mention honors by placing 20th with a mark of 12.51m (41-00.50). Obiozor fouled on her second attempt and finished with a mark of 12.39m (40-07.75).
"Cybil competed exceptionally well when you consider she had a hamstring issue for three weeks and still got to the big show," said Bevan.
The Pearland, Texas native had advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships by earning the 12th and final qualifying spot at the NCAA West Prelims despite a hamstring injury that had limited her.
"I'm very proud of both our sophomores just for even making it here," Bevan said. "The priceless experience gained by both young ladies will produce big dividends for the future.