Six Owls Primed to Compete at NCAA Championships

Chris Pillow

June 10, 2014

Championship Central Pages: Oregon | NCAA | USTFCCCA 

Live Results | Meet Schedule | Men's & Women's Start List

Live Video: ESPN Networks will cover every day of the meet, with Wednesday and Thursday being broadcast on ESPN3, starting at 3:55 p.m. PT. Events on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast live on ESPNU starting at 4:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., respectively. (ONLINE ESPN3) 

Tickets: All-session and single day tickets can be purchased here.

Twitter: Rice | TrackTown USA | NCAA

HOUSTON, Texas - The Rice Owls men's and women's track and field teams will be sending a combined six student-athletes to Eugene, Oregon this week to compete on the grand stage at the NCAA Championships. Competition will run Wednesday morning through Saturday at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field. 



Junior vaulter Chris Pillow will kick off the competition for the Owls on Wednesday beginning with the pole vault at 6 p.m. (CT). Pillow is coming off a ninth place finish at the NCAA West Prelims and his second consecutive C-USA Outdoor title. He set a PR (5.50m) earlier this season at the Texas Relays, tying Dave Roberts' 1972 mark for the second-best jump in school history. That jump is the 12th-best in the nation entering Wednesday.

Running for the Owls on Thursday will be freshman distance runner Cali Roper, who earned the 12th and final qualifying spot in the 10,000m at the NCAA West Prelims. Roper won the C-USA Outdoor title in the 10,000m and set a PR (34:18.42) in the event earlier in the season at the Mt. SAC Relays. Roper's event will begin at 9:15 p.m. (CT)

On Friday, sophomore vaulter McKenzie Johnson will compete in her very first NCAA Championships beginning at 5:15 p.m. (CT). Johnson finished 12th at the NCAA West Prelims and placed second at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. She won four outdoor events and set a PR of 4.21m at the J. Fred Duckett Twilight.

The Owls will close the weekend with three athletes competing on Saturday, beginning with javelin thrower Evan Karakolis at 2:35 p.m. (CT). Karakolis enters the meet with the 19th-best throw (70.80m) in the nation, breaking his own school record set last season. The Ontario native placed third at the NCAA West Prelims and won the C-USA Outdoor title in dramatic fashion with the winning throw on the last heave of the competition.

Following Karakolis will be sophomore high jumper Belle MacFarlane, who placed fifth in the high jump at the NCAA West Prelims by recording a PR of 1.77m on her final jump of the competition. MacFarlane won the high jump at both the J. Fred Duckett Twilight and Victor Lopez Classic.

Wrapping up competition on Saturday for the Owls will be junior thrower Claire Uke, who placed second in the shot put at the NCAA West Prelims and won the C-USA Outdoor Championship. Uke's mark of 17.18m is the best in C-USA this season and the ninth-best in the nation. She will be making her second appearance of her career at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after placing 18th last season. Uke will throw beginning at 3 p.m. (CT) on Saturday.

Live results will be provided by Flash Results and available online at Fans will be able to keep up with field events during the competition with updates after each attempt.

Fans are encouraged to follow and interact with the meet on Twitter by using the hashtag #NCAATF and #TrackTownUSA.



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