Oct. 29, 2005
Orlando, Fla. -
Kate Gorry and Callie Wells finished second and third and Marissa Daniels was fifth Saturday as the Rice Owls won the Conference USA women's cross country team title at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. It was the first win for Rice in Conference USA championship competition.
"We knew coming in that we had a strong shot at winning," said Rice head coach Jim Bevan. "Kate put it out there from the start and ran a heck of a race, and Callie was a very strong third. It was a great performance all around for us, and we are happy to get the school's first team title in Conference USA."
Rice scored 46 points to win, 11 better than UAB and 40 ahead of third-place SMU. The win is the fourth conference title under Bevan, including one in the SWC and two in the WAC. Bevan was named C-USA coach of the year following the competition.
Gorry, last year's WAC champion, was at the front most of the way over the five-kilometer course, yielding the lead only over the final 50 meters as UAB's Elizabeth Ambrus won the individual gold in 17:02.95. Gorry crossed the line at 17:04.17, ten seconds ahead of Wells. Daniels clocked 17:22.30 in fifth. Anna Reeve had a good showing as the Owls' number-four runner, placing 17th at 18:14.01, while Sarah Yoder rounded out the Rice scorers in 19th at 18:16.43. Lea Garcia was 20th and Brandi Armstrong was 28th for the Owls.
"It was important for us to get a pretty close pack," Bevan said. "Marissa gave us a good effort in fifth to pick up valuable points, and Anna and Sarah got in there and fought it out to be top-20 finishers."