HOUSTON - Five Rice Owls finished in the top 10 and all seven runners placed in the top 12 in a season-opening victory at the Norry Hersey Rice Invitational Friday evening at the Rice Intramural Fields.
The Owls, who won the nine-team field with 29 points, averaged 20:00 per runner in the 6250 meter race.
Junior Clay Musial was Rice's top finishes, placing third overall in a time of 19:53.81, followed by freshman Hocial Landa (5th, 19:57.97), senior Marco Ruiz (6th, 20:00.11), sophomore Adolfo Carvalho (7th, 20:02.51), freshman Alex Topini (8th, 20:06.75), junior Matt Calem (12th, 20:10.51) and junior Imran Bell (13th, 20:11.19).
"Tonight was probably the tighest pack Rice has ever had," head coach Jon Warren said. "The race wasn't very fast overall, it became a tactical race to some degree. Probably two miles in Marco Ruiz decided to push it. When he did that the guys responded to him. He put out great effort to grab the lead and it may not have helped his individual chances but the response from his teammates was outstanding. To finish with that pack up front was just incredible. Clay Musial, who has been our No. 7 for almost two years, was a pleasant surprise, finishing third overall. That was just a great way to start the year."
Rice will next be in action on Saturday, Sept. 23 when they compete at the Texas A&M Invitational.
Final Team Standings
1. Rice - 29 points
2. Houston - 50 points
3. Sam Houston St. - 72 points
4. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - 105 points
5. Houston Baptist - 144 points
6. Prairie View A&M - 153 points
7. Texas A&M Int. - 167 points
8. Texas Southern - 241 points
Dual Meet Scoring
Rice - 15
HBU - 50
Rice - 15
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - 46
Rice - 19
Sam Houston St. - 44
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - 22
Houston Baptist - 35