May 13, 2018
By Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON - The Rice Owls women's track & field team closed out the Conference USA Outdoor Championships on Sunday by earning two more individual titles and finishing third overall with 106 team points.
"We had another extremely good day," Rice women's T&F head coach Jim Bevan said. "I'm very happy with our performances and how we competed over four days, finishing a solid third and getting closer to second and third then we were projected to. We had about 18 more points than the paper had us getting. Overall we had great competition and performances and there's nothing that I'm not extremely excited about, especially when you consider we only lose two senior scorers."
Sophomore jumper Michelle Fokam completed a sweep of the C-USA Indoor and Outdoor long jump/triple jump titles by setting another PR, this time in the triple jump. The Katy, Texas native secured her fourth individual title of the season by winning the triple jump with a mark of 13.43m (44-00.75). She became just the third athlete in C-USA history to win both the triple jump and long jump in the same season
Fokam, who was named the Female High Point Scorer of the Meet, also became just the second Owl in school history to jump 44 feet in the triple jump, joining former great Claudia Haywood (44-06), who set the school record while winning the NCAA crown in 1993.
"Michelle is on fire right now, I don't know what else to say," said Bevan. "This is her runway and she feels like she owns."
Joining Fokam on the medal stand was sophomore sprinter Hannah Jackson, who used a late spurt to win the 100m dash with a time of 11.51. She also placed second (23.38) in the 200m dash to earn all-conference honors and ran a leg on the 4x100 squad.
"Hannah ran fast and I think three races in this heat probably got to her a little bit," Bevan said. "She had a great day winning the 100m, coming from behind. She didn't quite have enough in the tank for the 200m but she's had an unbelievable year and it's not over with yet. I know she'll be on her A-game when we go to the first round of nationals."
Fokam and Jackson were also part of the 4x100 relay, joining Camille Little and Charlsea Lamb to set a season-best time of 45.75 to place fifth and earn four team points.
The Owls also scored big in the pole vault, led by Ayane Rossano and Jaylon Wesley. The duo each closed with personal best marks of 3.91m (12-10.00) to finish second and third, respectively. In addition, Kylie Swiekatowski placed seventh in the event (3.66m) to complete the best performance Rice has ever had by three vaulters in C-USA competition.
Near the conclusion of the meet Lourdes Vivas de Lorenzi (17:20.34), Khayla Patel (17:22.56), and Elsa Racasan (17:36.53) placed fourth-fifth-seventh, respectively, in the 5k.
C-USA Individual Winners
10,000m - Lourdes Vivas de Lorenzi
Long Jump - Michelle Fokam
Triple Jump - Michelle Fokam
100m Dash - Hannah Jackson