May 10, 2013
HOUSTON ---- UAB senior Rhiannon Johns missed out on her third career conference 10,000-meter title by just two seconds and sophomore Shelby Barker placed seventh in the two-day heptathlon as competition continued Friday at the 2013 Conference USA Track and Field Championships.
Johns, who won 10k championships in both 2010 and 2011, was edged by UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo in Friday's final in a dual of the league's top two distance runners. Kimaiyo was clocked at 34:47.64 while Johns crossed at 34:49.67, nearly 17 seconds better than her winning time in 2011.
"UAB Track and Field started off very, very well today," said UAB head coach Kurt Thomas. "To come away with 12 points after day two is a great start for us. Four athletes competed for us today and three of them scored. That's not too bad. Shelby had a great heptathlon. In the most competitive heptathlon in CUSA history, she had a great score, set a 550-point personal best and finished seventh. We couldn't ask any more from her, and she really gave her all. She did great. I think she set six personal bests out of seven total events."
UAB's Kate Brown placed seventh in the final 10,000 standings at 36:35.71 while Lauren Scott was 11th at 37:34.11.
"Rhi, Kate and Lauren ran really tough on a humid night," Thomas said. "Rhi did everything she could to win and simply got beat on this night by a very talented runner. She wanted her third 10k title, but just came up short. But she ran awesome for us. Kate ran very tough after nursing some injuries and all three ran tactically well, and Kate came away with two big points for the team. Lauren set a PR by almost three minutes, so overall, it was very successful for everyone."
Meanwhile, on the second and final day of the heptathlon, the Blazers' Barker had a runner-up finish in the 800-meter run and went on to take seventh place overall in the heptathlon event.
Barker finished with 4,899 points. She netted 843 of those points in the 800-meter run after scoring 651 in the long jump and 424 in the javelin throw.
Marshall's Vanessa Jules won the heptathlon in convincing fashion with 5,807 points while Xenia Rahn of Memphis was second with 5,463.
Competition continues on Saturday at the Rice University Track and Soccer Stadium.