IRVING, Texas – For a second year in a row, Rice junior distance runner Cali Roper secured the Conference USA Outdoor Female Track Performer of the Meet award, the league office announced on Friday. The Conroe, Texas native took home gold in the 5,000m and the 10,000m to earn 20 key points for the champion Rice Owls last weekend in Murfreesboro.
Roper, who won the outdoor honor in consecutive years, became the fourth athlete in league history to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the same outdoor championship and in the process broke the C-USA 10k outdoor record. While winning the 10k by almost 24 seconds, Roper also became the first C-USA three-time champion in the event.
Furthermore, Roper’s time of 16:21.75 in the 5,000m was a season-best mark. Roper is now an eight-time C-USA champ across cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in three seasons.