HOUSTON – The Rice Owls men’s and women’s track and field programs kick-started the 2017 indoor season Friday evening at the Leonard Hilton Memorial, capturing five combined individual titles and 13 top-three finishes at Yeoman Fieldhouse.
The defending C-USA outdoor champion women’s team posted four individual titles. Senior thrower Ijeoma Ugwunze began the day in style by claiming a victory in the shot put with a toss of 14.54m (47-08.50). The McKinney, Texas native also posted a third place result in the weight throw (15.08m, 49-05.75) while fellow senior teammate Dreu Dixson finished second (16.33m, 53-07.00) in the same event.
In the distance events seniors Cali Roper and Katie Jensen carried their momentum over from the cross country season by winning the 3000m and mile, respectively. Roper won the 3000m with a time of 10:00.15 while Jensen triumphed in the 16-runner field in 5:02.09. Rice also received a victory from sophomore transfer Hannah Jackson in the 400m with a winning finish of 57.36. Sophomore Bryanah Rideaux also placed second (58.20) in the 400m.
The Owls also had second place finishes from senior Cybil Obiozor in the triple jump (12.47m, 40-11.0), and freshmen Brandi Ransom (800m, 2:28.48) and Zinedine Russell (high jump, 1.58m).
On the men’s side the Owls sent just a handful of competitors to Friday’s meet. After missing the entire 2016 season, Rice redshirt junior Scott Filip returned to action in style by winning the men’s high jump with a mark of 1.98m (6-06.00). Other highlights included a second place finish by Filip Drozdowski in the 60m hurdles (8.16).
Rice will have next weekend off before returning to Yeoman Fieldhouse Jan. 27-28 for the Houston Invitational.