April 14, 2012
El Paso, Texas - In very windy conditions, gusts that reached up to 40 miles per hour, the Rice men's track and field squad performed admirably at the UTEP Invitational Saturday afternoon at Kidd Field.
"The subject of the day was, without question, the weather," commented Owl head coach Jon Warren. There was 35 to 40 mile an hour winds, with gusts even stronger that blew in early in the afternoon. Prior to the winds, Nick Williams set a new school record in the hammer while throwing four throws over what he did last week, which was, up to today, his best.
"As the wind began to pick up and before a massive dust cloud moved in, Alex Zinchenko had a great discus throw improving on his conference best. The mountains even disappeared from view and the pole vault was canceled, but Collin Shurbet and Lee Johnson went 1-2 in the 400 hurdles. Obviously, the times were not very good, as it is hard to run fast in tropical storm winds, but the effort and result was awesome.
Collin Shurbet was first (54.61) and Lee Johnson was second (55.25) in the 400m hurdles. Alex Zinchenko was fifth in the discus with a mark of 52.59m/172-6. Kyle Denny was also fifth in the 400m with time of 50.14.
"We brought a very small team out here (no middle distance or distance runners) to what is normally a great meet for sprints and field events," continued Warren. "We just had some bad luck with the weather. Everyone but the vaulters was able to compete and grow a bit. Conditions like this really test an athlete's character."
The Owls return to the track next Saturday, April 21, as its hosts the ninth annual J.Fred Duckett Twilight at Holloway Field/Ley Track.
10, Dylan Bradley, 22.82
11, Lee Johnson, 15.35
6, Nick Williams, 49.63m/162-10