May 22, 2008
You can call it a sweep or you can call it a triple crown, either way the Rice Owls women's track and field accomplished it during the 2007-08 athletic season. It, being winning conference team titles in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field in Conference USA. Only one other school in America out of 32 conferences did what the Owls did and that was Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference.
"Every year you have three opportunities to win a championship," says head coach Jim Bevan. "To win all three, you have to have a balance team, stay healthy, and then compete at a high level three different times. It's difficult to achieve excellence three times a year, but it says a lot about our training system, our coaching staff, and our support staff, especially the athletic trainers and team doctors."
This is the second time that Rice has completed the trifecta in school history. The first instance occurred in 1999-2000, under the direction of Victor Lopez, when the Owls competed in the Western Athletic Conference. It is also the first time in C-USA since Marquette won all three titles in 1995-96.
Rice won its second straight outdoor championship last weekend at UTEP and its sixth conference outdoor title in the last nine years. The Owls won the WAC title in 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004.
Furthermore, the Owls, in three years under head coach Jim Bevan, have now won the last five C-USA team championships. In addition to the 2008 outdoor title, Rice has won the following team titles: 2008 indoor crown, 2007 cross country titles, the 2007 indoor title, and the 2007 outdoor championship.