March 31, 2006
Charles Hampton and David Axel raced to a 1-2 finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase and Pablo Solares was a runaway winner in the 1500 to highlight Rice performances on the first day of the 24th Annual Victor Lopez Bayou Classic Friday at the Rice Track and Soccer Stadium.
Hampton outkicked Axel over the final 20 meters to come away with the win in 9:11.45, with Axel just behind at 9:11.53.
"Charles and David ran very well in their first steeplechase of the season," said Rice head coach Jon Warren. "We were looking for a fast and competitive race, and they succeeded on both counts."
Solares made a strong move with just over 1000 meters to go to win the 1500 by almost three seconds in 3:49.59, just outside the NCAA regional standard of 3:47.80.
University running finals start at noon Saturday, and field events begin at 8 am with the hammer throw.