May 22, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Six Rice women's track and field athletes qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in seven different events, the NCAA Track and Field Committee announced on Thursday.
Claire Uke, who qualified in two events, Daisy Ding, McKenzie Johnson, Belle MacFarlane, Heather Olson and Cali Roper will compete in Fayetteville, Arkansas from May 29-31 in the West Preliminary Round with hopes of advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, June 11-14 in Euegene, Oregon.
Uke, who won the C-USA Championship in the shot put, competes in that event as well as the discus. The Cedar Hill, Texas native holds the fifth-best mark (17.18m) in the shot put in the region and the 28th-best distance (52.62m) in the discus. Uke won a career-high seven events this outdoor season.
Ding, a freshman from Sydney, Australia, won three triple jump competitions during her first collegiate season, including a career-best jump of 12.73m at the J. Fred Duckett Twilight nearly a month ago.
Johnson is coming off a second place finish at the C-USA Championships in the pole vault and holds the ninth-best mark (4.21m) in the region. Johnson, a native of San Diego, California, won four pole vault events this outdoor season and only finished outside the top three one time.
MacFarlane has had a breakout sophomore campaign and will qualify for the high jump, recording a 1.75m back on April 26 at the J. Fred Duckett Twilight. The Dallas, Texas native also won the C-USA Indoor Championships.
Olson, a senior native of Grayslake, Illinois, earned an automatic berth to the championships by winning the C-USA 3,000m steeplechase, where she set a career-best time of 10:09.87.
Roper had a superb freshman season, winning the 10,000m in a time of 34:18.42, the 24th-best clocking in the region. She also finished second in the 5,000m.