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Wade sets school record

By Dan Elledge     3/6/12 6:00pm

With the last days of 40-degree weather behind us, the indoor season is concluding as spring comes into full bloom and the senior distance runners are going out with a bang, none more so than Becky Wade and Allison Pye.

In the span of 7 days, Wade won the mile at the Conference USA Indoor Championships on Feb. 26 with a time of 4:48.32, which is her season best, and finished second in the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:32.35. The mile win was the third for Wade at the C-USA Indoor Championships in an illustrious career, but she would top herself a week later at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame University where she recorded a Rice school record in the 5,000-meter with a time of 16:02.13.

Even though she was slightly overshadowed by Wade, Pye had an incredible week as well. She finished third at the C-USA Championships in the 5,000-meter as she recorded a time of 16:18.24, which before Wade broke it at Notre Dame, was Rice's school record. She also ran a strong race in the 3,000-meter as she finished behind Wade in fourth with a time of 9:38.33. At the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., Pye finished the 5,000-meter with a time of 16:29.21 to place sixth. Although their indoor careers are done, Pye and Wade are ready to finish off their careers in style as the outdoor season begins next Wednesday.

Led by Wade and Pye, the Owls finished fifth at the C-USA Indoor Championships out of 12 teams. Rice scored 51 points on the weekend, trailing the meet winners, East Carolina University, as well as the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston and the University of Memphis. Besides Wade and Pye, the Owls were led by decent performances from senior middle-distance runners Keltie John and Sophie Peeters, who finished seventh and eighth respectively in the 800-meter. John posted a time of 2:13.82 while Peeters finished right behind her with a time of 2:14.01.

The distance medley relay also enjoyed success during the championships as they posted a fourth place finish. Wade led the charge along with John, sophomore distance runner Halsey Fowler and sophomore sprinter Sojourner Brown.

Not to be outshined by the track events, the field participants also helped the Owls gain some points. Senior Cleona Oliver recorded a pole vault height of 3.76 meters, which was strong enough to give her a second place finish. A trio of freshman pole vaulters, Chaney Turney, Marielle Brisbois and Alicia Janke, each jumped a height of 3.51 meters, which were personal bests and led to a tie for eighth place. In the weight throw, senior Brittany Brown recorded a personal best as she finished in seventh place with a toss of 17.14 meters.

With a spirited performance at the conference championships, most of the Owls now turn their attention to the outdoor season with the Shirley Crowe Multi-Events on March 14 and 15 at Holloway Field and Ley Track followed by the Texas Southern Relays on March 16 and 17.

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