HOUSTON – The Rice Owls track and field programs put together one of their most complete meets of the outdoor season on Saturday, capturing nine collegiate titles and placing 24 combined athletes in the top three of various events.
Cybil Obiozor set a new lifetime best mark (12.89m) to win the triple jump for the second time this outdoor season while fellow All-American teammate Daisy Ding finished second with a leap of 12.70m (41-08.00). Later in the evening Ding placed second in the high jump but was beat out by teammate McKenzie Johnson (1.71m).
In the pole vault McKenzie Johnson won for the second time this season with a clearance of 3.97m (13-00.25) while senior teammate Marielle Brisbois placed second with a mark of 3.82m. Both Johnson and Brisbois are currently ranked first and second, respectively, among C-USA competitors this season in the pole vault.
Junior Ijeoma Ugwunze also recorded a victory, her first of the season, in the discus with a throw of 44.76m (137-10). Entering competition on Saturday Ugwunze ranked sixth in C-USA. Senior Leslie Schilsky performed well in the throws by setting a new PR of 33.52m (110-00) to win the javelin. The Owls also got a second place finish from Dreu Dixson in the hammer throw, setting a lifetime best mark of 50.79m (166-08).
The women’s 4x100 relay team established a season-best time of 45.85 to place second overall, first collegiately. The squad consisted of Jaylon Wesley, Bryanah Rideaux, Charlsea Lamb and Eboni Sutherland. Rideaux followed up that performance by placing second overall in the 400m (54.38), moving into third amongst C-USA competitors this season.
In the sprints Eboni Sutherland (24.48) and Rideaux (24.50) each set season-bests in the 200m, finishing second and fourth, respectively. Sutherland also finished second in the 100m dash (12.10). Freshman Akuira Young, who ranked sixth in C-USA, continued to make progress in the 400m hurdles by finishing second with a time of 1:01.44.
Hannah Kay wrapped up the evening with a second place results in the 3000m steeplechase, setting a new PR of 11:07.08.
“Combined with the girls that raced out at the Mt. SAC Relays, we had a very good weekend,” Rice women’s track and field head coach Jim Bevan said. “Overall, it was a big performance at home before the last week of classes and the girls really stepped up. I couldn’t be more proud of the team’s effort tonight. Next we’ll be taking almost a full team to next week’s Kansas Relays.”
On the men’s side Austin Riddle won his fourth title of the outdoor season by taking the hammer throw with a heave of 62.03m (203-06). Riddle was joined in the top three by teammate Uche Ugwunze, who placed second throwing 53.20m (174-06).
All-American Evan Karakolis won his first javelin title of the outdoor season with a distance of 64.60m while senior Will Firth set a new PR of 9:01.45 to finish first collegiately in the 3000m steeplechase.
In the evening Filip Drozdowski set a new season-best time (14.44) in the 110m hurdles to finish second overall. Patrick McCoy also posted a second place finish, jumping 13.93m (45-08.50) in the triple jump.
In the distance events William Roberts placed second in the 1500m with a time of 3:53.04.
“We really had a terrific today,” Rice men’s track and field head Jon Warren said. “This may have been one of our most balanced performances, especially considering the weather conditions. I’m really proud of the way the guys competed today.”
Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams will be back in action next weekend at the Kansas Relays with the C-USA Championships on the horizon, May 12-15.