By Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
EL PASO, Texas -- The Rice Owls men's track and field team totaled 96.5 points as a team to place fourth at the C-USA Outdoor Championships, which concluded Sunday evening at Kidd Field on the campus of UTEP.
Rice All-American Chris Pillow put the finishing touch on his illustrious C-USA career by winning his fifth consecutive pole vault title, spanning over both the outdoor and indoor seasons back to the 2013 C-USA Outdoor Championships.
Pillow cleared 5.41m (17-09.00) on his final attempt, establishing a new C-USA Outdoor Championships record. The Mechanicsville, Virginia native moved into 12th in the nation with his mark. Scott Filip, who won the decathlon on Friday, also placed fourth in the event with a personal best mark of 4.91m while sophomore Vitaliy Bilenko finished fifth (4.76m).
"Chris Pillow was fantastic, a new meet record," Rice men's T&F head coach Jon Warren said. "It really was just a great performance, matching Duncan Dickerson and Scott Filip as conference champions. The pole vault overall was great with PR's for all the guys who competed and solid performances from Scott and Vitaliy. In the 800m Harry Sagel and David Diaz ran really smart and took podium spots. Overall the meet was just awesome and we had several good performances from a bunch of guys."
Sagel and Diaz each advanced to the finals of the 800m after advancing through Saturday's prelims. On Sunday Sagel earned his first career all-conference honor by placing second overall in the event in a time of 1:52.79 while Diaz finished less than a second later in 1:53.34.
Redshirt sophomore Filip Drozdowski also earned five points for the Owls with a fourth place finish (14.39) in the 110m hurdles.
The Owls will now prep for the NCAA Championship West Prelims, which take place May 28-30 in Austin.