March 21, 2012
Rice University hosts the 30th Victor Lopez Classic track and field meet this weekend on the Rice campus at Holloway Field/Ley Track.
Tickets are $10 per adult and $5 per youth and can be purchased at the ticket gate near the entrance of Holloway Field.
The meet features competition with a multitude of high schools as well as universities including Rice, Notre Dame, North Texas, Sam Houston State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Texas-Pan American, Southwestern, SFA, Texas Southern, Texas Lutheran, Dallas Baptist, Houston, HBU, Lamar, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, and Huston-Tillotson.
Action gets underway Thursday, March 22 with high school running and field events starting at 5:30 p.m.
On Friday, March 23 at 10 a.m. the collegiate portin of the meet starts with the men's hammer throw, while the running events start at 3 p.m. with the 4x100m relays. Saturday's running finals start at 6 p.m. and conclude with the 4x400m relays at 8:45 p.m. and Saturday's field events start at 11 a.m. with the men's shot put and women's discus.
The meet is named after former Rice women's track and field coach, Victor Lopez. He is regarded as one of the foremost respected teachers in the sports of cross country and track & field. Lopez, who started the Rice University women's cross country and track & field program and brought it to prominence, is a USTFCCCA Hall of Fame member and also a Rice Hall of Fame member began his career with the Owls in 1980.
He led the Rice Owls to top-10 NCAA finishes five times as head coach of the Owls. Furthermore, Lopez's Rice athletes garnered over 150 All-American honors and collected 17 individual national championship titles.
Lopez-led teams won 10 conference crowns. In addition to the 1994 cross country title, Rice won the 1999 and 2002 Western Athletic Conference cross country championships. The Owls also won three consecutive WAC indoor titles from 2000-2002 and won back-to-back WAC outdoor titles in 2000-2001 and 2003-2004.
He also coached his native Puerto Rican track and field team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and was the national coach for the Olympic teams that competed in Barcelona in '92 and Sydney in 2000.
In 1990, Lopez received the IAAF's 75th Anniversary Commemorative medal for his efforts in developing track & field coaching and coaching education in Central America and the Caribbean, becoming the first North or Central American to be presented with the honor.
Lopez also played a key role in the formation of the IAAF's Coaches Commission as well as the North America, Central America and Caribbean Track & Field Coaches Association.
Lopez retired from Rice at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Presently he serves as president of the Pan American Games. He has served as chairman of the IAAF Coaches Commission and as president of the NACACTFCA and has charied the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (CACAC) since 1998.