May 16, 2008
After the second day of competition at the Conference USA Outdoor Championship, the Rice Owls track and field team sits atop of the leaderboard with 65 points, with host UTEP trailing at 40.5 points.
"We had a great day today and we are having a great meet, but it will be a tough battle on Saturday against UTEP," said Rice head coach Jim Bevan. "It will literally, be an event by event contest to see who wins the team title."
Not only did senior Rachel Greff successfully defended her pole vault title with a C-USA meet record of 4.13m/13-6.5, but Ariana Ince, a freshman, showed she is ready to take over Greff's dominance of Conference USA, with a second place finish at 3.70m/12-1.5.
"Rachel (Greff) was outstanding in winning her third outdoor title," said Bevan. "She was running into a headwind and still posted one of her best performances."
For Greff, it was her third straight outdoor pole vault championship to match her three indoor C-USA crowns. Greff held the previous pole vault mark at 4.12m/13-6.25 set May 12, 2006.
Another duo, sophomore Nicole Mericle and freshman Becky Wade placed second and third respectively in the 3000m steeplechase. Mericle ran it in 10:35.88, just behind SMU's Sijle Fjortoft's 10:33.72. Wade posted a 10:52.70 time.
In the heptathlon, Britney Blodget placed sixth with 4,227 points while, junior Andrea Jackson provided two points towards the Rice cause with a seventh place finish with 4,151 points.
1) Rice 65
2) Memphis 46
3) UTEP 40.50
4) Tulsa 31.50
5) SMU 31
6) Southern Miss 29
7) UCF 24.33
8) Houston 21.50
9) Marshall 17.33
10) Tulane 16
10) UAB 16
12) East Carolina 12.83