March 1, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Junior Claire Uke won her second consecutive C-USA Indoor Championship in the shot put and sophomore Belle MacFarland took first in the high jump to lead the Rice Owls women's track and field team Saturday afternoon at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
"I'm real proud of the performances today from our girls," Rice women's T&F head coach Jim Bevan said. "Claire continues to do nothing but impress. Belle was someone who could barely make opening night last season. It just goes to show what hard work and dedication can do. One of the most positive things to take from this meet is all of our points will return next season. Now we try to get healthy and prepare to make a run in the outdoor season."
Uke, a junior from Cedar Hill, Texas, won with a mark of 52-10.00 (16.10m) to earn the Owls 10 points. The victory was Uke's fourth this indoor season in the shot put. MacFarlane, a native of Dallas, Texas, carried over her late-season momentum into Saturday where she won her first-ever indoor high jump competition with a mark of 5-09.25 (1.76m).
The Owls nearly had a third title winner in sophomore vaulter McKenzie Johnson, who won the indoor pole vault championship last season. Johnson, from San Diego, Calif., placed second with a height of 13-03.50 (4.05m), finishing just behind Tulane's Merritt Van Meter (13-07.25).
Freshman Cali Roper backed up yesterday's second place performance in the 5000m run with a fourth place finish in Saturday's 3000m run. Roper earned five points by finishing in a time of 16:46.02. Freshman Daisy Ding also earned points for the Owls, placing sixth in the triple jump with a distance of 40-02.25 (12.25m).
As a team the Owls placed eighth overall with 52 points.