March 14, 2009
Rice senior Lennie Waite lowered her week-old school record while finishing sixth in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday afternoon to earn All-American status. The championships are being held at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at McFerrin Athletic Center on the campus of Texas A&M University.
Waite smashed her previous record of 4:39.86 set last Saturday, crossing the finish line in 4:38.60. She becomes the first Rice woman to earn indoor All-American status since Beth Hinshaw in the pole vault in 2004.
She is the Owls' first All American in the indoor mile since Candace Lessmeister, who was honored in both 1994 and 1995. She also joins with Jason Colwick, who won the men's pole vault, to give the Owls their first All Americans in both men's and women's indoor track since 2002.
Waite came back to run the 3000 meters later on Saturday, finishing 15th in a time of 9:30.08.
The senior from Austin, who originally came to Rice on a soccer scholarship, was the high scorer for the Owls during their run to a third consecutive C-USA Championship two weeks ago. She won a pair of individual events (mile, 3000 meters), placed third in one other (800 meters) and anchored Rice's champion distance medley relay.