Cali Roper placed 13th at the Pre-Nationals Invite Saturday morning.

Women's Cross Country

Owls Place 16th At Pre-Nationals

Oct. 18, 2014

Pre-Nationals Invite Results Get Acrobat Reader

Concorida Invitational ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana - The Rice women's cross country squad finished in a tie for 16th place (518 points) at the Indiana State Pre-Nationals Invitational Saturday morning, the team's final race before the C-USA Championship.

In a race that saw some of the nation's best and nearly 300 total runners, the Owls were led individually by sophomore Cali Roper, who placed 13th with a time of 21:05 in the 6K race. Roper bested her previous season-best time of 21:35 that won her the Rim Rock Farm Collegiate Classic.

Freshman Madi McClellan also set a season's-best time of 21:27 to place 40th overall while Katie Jensen placed 78th with a mark of 21:50. Elsa Racasan (164th-22:30), Audrey Wassef (223rd-22:57), Hannah Kay (229th-22:59) and Ellen Diemert (269th-23:38) finished in that order for the Owls.

Head coach Jim Bevan said, "Overall, we had some great individual performances and a very good performance as a team. We've made a big step in a year, from finishing essentially in the same place as today, but in the non-seeded race. We beat some good schools and we're close to some good schools and our young ladies got their eyes opened to what it will take to be involved with the elite teams in the future."

"Our team is young and this is the first time in a meet like this for three of our runners. Six of our seven ran much faster than two weeks ago and five of the seven had lifetime bests on a course that ran slow due to soggy, soft ground conditions. That is a good sign we are headed the right way, as well as our only common competitor, Kansas, was a long way back from us (after being onne point away two weeks ago). Cali had a spectacular race, moving up from 45th at the mile mark to finishing 13th. That's the second highest finish by a Rice Owl at this meet. Madi and Katie ran together for much of the race and followed through with two lifetime bests and very high finishes. Madi was one of the top freshman in the meet. Our 4, 5 and 6 (Elsa, Audrey and Hannah) all improved from two weeks ago. We are looking forward to the conference meet in two weeks and hope we can continue to develop our fitness."

13. Cali Roper- 21:05

40. Madi McClellan- 21:27
78. Katie Jensen- 21:50
164. Elsa Racasan- 22:30
223. Audrey Wassef- 22:57
229. Hannah Kay- 22:59
269. Ellen Diemert- 23:38

The Owls also sent a group of five runners to the Concordia Invitational where Rice won first place behind Eleanor Wardleworth (1st-18:42), Allie Schaich (2nd-18:46), Kristine Sweeney (3rd-19:01), Savannah Rohloff (10th-20:02) and Nicole Johnston (12th-20:17).

Rice finished with 26 points, topping Trinity University, Texas Lutheran, Southwestern University, Concorida, Sul Ross and Schreiner.

The Owls will next set their eyes on the C-USA Championship, which will be hosted by North Texas on Nov. 1.

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