HOUSTON, Texas - The Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships are set to take place on Thursday at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama. The meet, which will take place at the same venue for a fourth consecutive season, was scheduled to begin Wednesday but has been pushed back to Thursday due to inclement weather.
The Owls have five athletes who rank amongst the top four in the league in their respective events, including senior vaulter Chris Pillow, who won last year's C-USA indoor title in Birmingham. Pillow is coming off a career-best vault of 5.56m (18-2.75) at the Virginia Tech Challenge and holds the No. 4 ranking in the NCAA (tops amongst all C-USA competitors) and No. 26 in the world. Pillow has twice been named the C-USA Indoor Male Athlete of the Week this season and three consecutive victories in the vault. The Mechanicsville, Virginia native is joined in the pole vault by sophomore teammate Vitaliy Bilenko, who ranks second in C-USA with a career-best this season of 4.75m (15-7).
Rice will also feature sophomore heptathlete Scott Filip, who leads the league (14th in the nation) with a 5502 point performance earlier this season at the Howie Ryan Invitational and is the reigning C-USA Indoor heptathlon winner (5314 points). Sophomore hurdler Filip Drozdowski will compete in the 60m hurdles Wednesday evening and is second in C-USA with a time of 8.09 while grad school transfer Duncan Dickerson sits third in C-USA in the weight throw with a new Rice indoor record of 17.33m (56-10.25).
The championship will begin at 9 a.m. (CT) on Wednesday with the combined events, which will include both heptathlon and pentathlon events, followed by jumps and throws at 3 p.m., and running preliminaries and finals at 4 p.m. Thursday will see the rest of the heptathlon events completed at 9 a.m. followed by field events at 11 a.m. The day will conclude with the final running events at 1 p.m. and the awards presentation at 4:45 p.m.
Admission prices are as follows: a two-day pass is $20 for adults and $10 for youth (12-17); while a single-day ticket is $15 per day for adults and $6 for youth (12-17). Admission is free for children age 11 and under and for students with a valid ID card who attends a C-USA member institution.