NEW ORLEANS – The Rice University women’s track and field team was honored for its academic success Friday, July 28, as the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named the Owls an All-Academic Team.
In order for a team to garner the distinction, it must carry a team grade point average of 3.0-or-better. A total of 360 NCAA Division I teams were honored by the USTFCCCA, 218 of which were women’s programs.
Rice, who maintained a Conference USA-best team GPA of 3.48, was one of five Conference USA programs to make the list, joining FIU, Middle Tennessee, UTSA and WKU.
In addition to the team award, five Owls were recognized as USTFCCCA All-Academic honorees. This year’s Rice honorees included Daisy Ding, Hannah Jackson, Katie Jensen, Cybil Obiozor and Cali Roper.
To qualify, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have met at least one of the following academic standards:
*For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org.
*For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).
Ding, a native of Sydney, Australia, was named the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for a fourth straight year after sweeping the triple jump titles at the C-USA Championships in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. She won a combined six triple jump competitions in 2017 and advanced to the outdoor NCAA West Prelims. Ding graduated with a 3.57 GPA while double majoring in Material Sciences and Economics.
Jackson, from Sulphur, Louisiana, broke the school record in the 200m (23.33) in her sophomore season with the Owls and earned C-USA All-Conference honors in the indoor 200m, along with four individual victories. The sophomore just missed qualifying for the finals of the 200m at the NCAA West Prelims with a 25th place finish. Jackson posted a 3.65 GPA while majoring in Bioengineering.
Jensen, from The Woodlands, Texas, was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team after a stellar indoor season in which she earned USTFCCCA Second Team All-American honors with her 12th place finish in the 3000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships. That performance came on the heels of a school record-breaking run of 9:05.66 (3000m) at the Boston University Last Chance Meet. Jensen won three C-USA indoor titles: mile (4:39.61), 3000m (9:22.24) and ran a leg on the winning DMR team (11:34.73). She graduated with a 3.73 GPA as a Chemical Engineering major.
Obiozor, a native of Pearland, Texas, earned C-USA All-Conference honors with a third place finish in the triple jump at the Indoor Championships and earned the C-USA Co-Athlete of the Week. In total, she posted eight top-three finishes between the indoor and outdoor seasons and earned her third USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honor. Obiozor graduated with a 3.67 GPA while majoring in Cognitive Sciences.
Roper, from Conroe, Texas, was named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for the fourth time in her career after graduating with a 3.78 GPA in Sport Management. Roper earned C-USA All-Conference honors with a second place finish in the 5000m at the Indoor Championships while winning the 3000m at the Howie Ryan Invite and the Cougar Spring Break Invitational. Roper was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was the recipient of the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award in 2017.