May 13, 2009
The Rice Owls men's track and field team competes this weekend (May 14-16) at the 14th Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Tulsa, Okla. The Owls have finished third, fifth, and third in the last three competitions.
Leading head coach Jon Warren's squad is junior pole vaulter Jason Colwick. Colwick has the NCAA's No. 1 mark this season with a vault of 5.72m/18-9.25, which also ranks second in the world for 2009. He is also the only C-USA vaulter to clear the 18-foot mark this outdoor season, having done so five times.
Chris Kato has the third-best pole vault mark in C-USA at 4.90m/16-0.75, while Garrett Stafford is fifth (4.60m/15-1). Jack Spinks in the high jump is tied for second in the league with a mark of 2.00m/6-6.75.
Rice also hopes for strong performances from its distance runners. Senior Brett Olson sports C-USA's fastest 3000m steeplechase time (9:17.78), while Michael Trejo (9:28.78), James llamas (9:28.82), and Justin Maxwell (9:41.65) are ranked third, fourth, and sixth respectively. Simon Bucknell is the top Owl in the 1500m with a time of 3:47.47 that ranks fourth in C-USA.
Clay Baker leads Rice's throws contingent. Baker comes into the meet ranked second in the discus (50.74m/166-6) and third in the shot put (16.18m/53-1). Williams Meyers holds C-USA's top-ranked shot put mark for 2009 (16.68m/54-8.75) and is eight in the hammer throw. Baker also ranks sixth in the hammer.
The Owls hope to score points in the sprints from John Welch, Chris Douglas, and Sam McGuffie. Yes, the same Sam McGuffie that transferred from Michigan to play football at Rice. McGuffie, in limited competition, has run the 100m in 10.88. He will also compete in the long jump. During the C-USA Indoor meet, McGuffie placed fifth with mark of 7.06m/23-2 to score four team points for Rice. Welch has the sixth fastest 100m at 10.75 and 10th-best 200m (21.97).
Decathletes Philip Adam and Clayton Chaney will be counted to produce big points in the decathlon. Adam placed second a year ago with 6,756 points and has totaled a league-high 7,027 points. Chaney, only a freshman, ranks fourth with 6,539 points.
The 2009 championships gets underway on Thursday with the finals of the men's hammer throw at 10 a.m., followed by the women's at 12:30 p.m. The heptathlon and decathlon athletes begin action at 2:30 p.m., and will wrap up completion Friday morning. The men's decathlon consists of the 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500m. The heptathlon will have athletes competing in the 100m hurdles, 200m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, javelin and 800m.
The 10,000m run takes place under the lights as the men's race is set to start at 8:15 p.m., followed by the women's at 9 p.m. A new conference champion will be crowned in each event on Thursday.
Friday's running events start at 5:30 p.m. with the men's 1500m and wraps up with the women's 3000m steeplechase at 9:20 p.m. The majority of Friday's events are preliminary races, building up to Saturday's championship action starting at 5 p.m. with the 4x100m relays.
Rice at the C-USA Outdoor Championship
2006 3rd - 104.5 points - Hosted UTEP
2007 5th - 110.5 points - Hosted by Rice
2008 3rd - 118.5 points - Hosted by UTEP
Rice at the C-USA Indoor Championship
2006 3rd - 108 points - Hosted Houston
2007 3rd - 90 points - Hosted by Houston
2008 2nd - 116.5 points - Hosted by Houston
2009 3rd - 104.5 points - Hosted by Houston