BOWLING GREEN, KY - Rice senior Will Firth earned Second-Team All-Conference honors with an eighth place finish and the Owls men's cross country team placed fourth overall as a team at Saturday's C-USA Championships at Spero Kereiakes Park.
Firth, from Phoenix, Ariz., earned all-conference honors for a third consecutive season by finishing the 8K race in a time of 24:56.1. Joining Firth for all-conference recognition were sophomores Brad Dohner and Marco Ruiz. Dohner placed 15th overall with a mark of 25:25.5 while Ruiz finished nearly at his hip at 25:25.8.
Other Owl finishers included freshman Connor Meaux (24th-25:46.0), junior Harry Sagel (34th-26:13.3), junior James McCreary (40th-26:28.2), freshman Clay Musial (45th-26:37.6), sophomore Griffin Lee (26:52.6) and sophomore Steve Booker (27:25.4).
"What a great race, this conference is loaded with two teams (UTEP, Middle Tennessee) at the top of the NCAA and others that have dominated really well all year," Rice men's cross country head coach Jon Warren said. "We had a great race, the best we've had all season. Will Firth mixed it up with a few of the best runners in the country and Marco and Brad ran smart and tough and it showed in their all-conference placings. As a freshman Connor Meaux put together a solid performance again, which was impressive for being new to distance. Harry Sagel came through after being a bit under the weather all week. It was a good day for the Owls and we're looking forward to the NCAA Regional meet in two weeks.
UTEP (19 points) won the C-USA team title by placing five runners in the top 10. Middle Tennessee (58 points) finished second followed by North Texas (87 points). Rice was fourth with 97 points.
The Owls will now have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA South Regional, which will be held in College Station on Nov. 13.