Feb. 26, 2009
The Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships will get underway on Friday at the Yeoman Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Houston and Rice head men's coach Jon Warren expects his team to be in the hunt for its first indoor title since 1995.
"Right now Houston would have to be the favorite, but if each of our kids performs to the best of their ability we will have a very, very good chance of doing something big as a team," Warren said. "If either Houston or us falter, the door most likely will be left open for UTEP and maybe Tulsa to be in the hunt for the championship."
The Owls last won an indoor conference title in 1995 as members of the Southwest Conference. Their best indoor finish indoors in Conference USA came last year when they finished second to Houston.
The competition opens Friday and the Owls will have one of their top events up early in the event program when the pole vault gets underway at 2:00. Jason Colwick of the Owls currently leads the nation with a vault of 5.61/18-4 ¾ and is the first vaulter in conference history to clear 18 feet indoors. He was the 2008 outdoor champion in the event and leads three other Owls who have cleared four of the top five heights in the conference heading into the meet.
Competition in the 2009 Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first events in the pentathlon and heptathlon. Field event competition begins at 2 p.m. The men's 5,000 meter final will run at 5:30 and the remaining events begin at 6. Competition resumes on Saturday morning for the multi-events, and at 3:00 for event finals.