Nov. 22, 2010
RICE SPORTS INFORMATION
Rice Women's Cross Country Team Places 31st in the Nation
Nov. 22, 2010
Terre Haute, Ind. - The Rice women's cross country team placed 31st in the nation at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship with 656 points. The event was held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. This was the Owls' fourth NCAA Championship appearance in the last six years.
Villanova captured the team title with 120 points with two top 10 runners. Sheila Reid was first at 20:07, while Amanda Marino ran eighth (20:27). Florida State placed second with 154 points, while Texas Tech was third (165 points). Oklahoma State won the men's title with 73 points as it had three top 10 runners (fifth, sixth, and seventh).
After having lady luck on their side last week at the South Central Regional, it was not to be on Monday.
Senior Britany Williams was nearing the 250 mark at the start of the race when she was knocked down. Williams eventually was able to get to her feet, while avoiding the stampede of runners.
"I thought we were a little bit unlucky today with Britany getting knocked to the ground," said Rice head coach Jim Bevan. "It was just one of those things that happens and you have to deal with it. Her getting knocked down and then struggling to get up probably cost her 100 places in a normal race."
Senior Nicole Mericle (The Woodlands, Texas) posted a top-50 finish with a time of 21:04 over the 6,000m course. Mericle's performance is the best by an Owl at the national meet since Candace Lessmeister placed 42nd in 1994. Kate Gorry (2003), Marissa Daniels (2004), and Becky Wade (2007) all placed 53rd respectively.
"Nicole Mericle was closing fast the last half of the race and was finishing strong," stated Bevan.
Junior Becky Wade (Dallas, Texas), running in only her second cross country event for 2010, finished 128th for Rice with a time of 21:50.
"I'm proud of the effort by the team and we will sorely miss our two seniors, Nicole Mericle and Britany Williams," said Bevan. "They were integral parts for us getting to the national meet three times and they were two great leaders."
Rice at the NCAA Championship
46 Nicole Mericle, Sr., 21:04
128 Becky Wade,Jr., 21:50
146 Allison Pye, Jr., 22:08
160 Halsey Fowler, Jr., 22:15
176 Britany Williams, Sr., 22:29
185 Meredith Gamble, Fr., 22:40
196 Marie Thompson, Jr., 22:56