May 29, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas - Two Owls punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships on Thursday by finishing in the top 12 at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds on day one of the meet on the campus of Arkansas.
Evan Karakolis, a sophomore from Scarborough, Ontario, placed third in the javelin with a heave of 69.28m (227-3.00), his second-best throw of the season and the third-best of his career.
Chris Pillow, a junior from Mechanicsville, Virginia, finished tied for ninth in the pole vault with a mark of 5.26m (17-3.00). Pillow has already won both the C-USA Indoor and Outdoor titles and will now advance to his first career NCAA Championships along with Karakolis in Eugene, Oregon June 11-14.
"This was a really good day for our team," Rice men's track and field head coach Jon Warren said. "We had four of our five guys that are set to compete this weekend go today and two punched their ticket to Eugene. I am very excited to see how they perform on the national stage. They were impressive today."
With Karakolis and Pillow advancing, they continued a streak of six consecutive seasons in which the Owls will send at least one athlete to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Rice still has one competitor left to compete in Arkansas with Filip Drozdowski set to race in the 110m hurdles on Friday at 5 p.m.