Feb. 25, 2012
Birmingham, Ala. - The Owls distance medley relay team highlighted the first day of action for the men's track and field squad at the Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championship held at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
"We did very well in the DMR with a great anchor leg of 4:10 by freshman Will Firth," commented head coach Jon Warren. "That leg moved the team to medal position."
In the heptathlon, Rice has five of the nine entries, with four of them ranked one through fourth place. Sam McGuffie is the leader after the first day with 3,166 points and is followed by Clayton Chaney's 3,041 points. Sitting in third place is freshman Chris Sanders with 2,897 points, while Jack Spinks is fourth (2,640 points). In ninth is sophomore Ben Pressley (2,074 points).
"We are half way thru the heptathlon and I like where we are sitting right now," commented Warren. "If Sam McGuffie and Clayton Chaney and the others continue to compete tomorrow like they did today I think we will be happy."
On Sunday, the action heats up with the 60m hurdles, followed by the pole vault and concludes with the 1000m run.
In the 5000m final, junior Gabe Cuadra placed eighth with a time of 14:46.49.
"Gabe stole a point out of the 5000 running a very smart race and getting a PB along the way," said Warren.
Junior Tyler Wiest scored five points in the high jump with a fourth place mark of 2.05m/6-8.75. That is Wiest's season-high. McGuffie tied for sixth (1.92m/6-3.5) to earn 2.5 points for the Rice cause and Spinks finished tied for eighth (1.92m/6-3.5) for half a point.
Lee Johnson just missed making the 60m hurdles final with a time of 8.50. Patrick Jones of East Carolina garnered the eight spot with a time of 8.49.
Dan Sloat qualified for the 800m final with the seventh-fastest time (1:54.02). Collin Shurbet qualified for the 400m final with the eighth-best time, which is also his season-best at 49.32. Johnson was 10th in the prelim (49.55).
"We have some great scoring opportunities on Sunday," stated Warren. "In addition to the heptathlon, we have Alex Zinchenko in the shot put, J.J. Walker and Tyler Wiest in the triple jump, Chris Pillow and Clayton Chaney in the pole vault. We also have solid guys in the 400m, 800m, mile, 3000m and 4x400m relay."
Day One Team Scores
1. Houston, 39
2. Tulsa, 38
3. Memphis, 33
4. Southern Miss, 26.50
5. East Carolina, 21
6. UTEP, 19.50
7. Rice, 17
14, Dylan Bradley, 22.92
7, Dan Sloat, 1:54.02
60m Hurdles Prelim
9, Lee Johnson, 8.50