Cross Country Set to Compete at C-USA Championships

Oct. 26, 2017

Live Results | C-USA Championship Central

CLINTON, Miss. – The Rice men’s and women’s cross country teams will be vying for a league title this Saturday, Oct. 28 at the 2017 Conference USA Championships, which will be hosted by Southern Miss.

The men will run an 8k race at 9 a.m. followed by the women’s 5K trek at 10 a.m.

Men’s Preview

The Rice men, who placed fifth at C-USA's last season, have finished in the top three at the C-USA Championships in eight of the last 12 seasons and will be vying for their first-ever C-USA team title on Saturday.

The Owls are ranked seventh in the latest USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings. Rice has had a strong balance in their four races this season. Junior Clay Musial has been the Owls top finisher twice, while freshman Hociel Landa has been among the top three in all races. Senior Marco Ruiz, who placed 23rd at last year's championships, will also be a key runner for the Owls. 

Three other teams across C-USA are ranked in the Top-15 in the USTFCCCA Regional rankings, led by nationally ranked No. 25 Middle Tennessee (No. 2 in South). Charlotte (8th-Southeast) and North Texas (13th-South Central) also check in the top 15 in their respective regions. 

Women’s Preview

The Rice women will be looking to win a third consecutive C-USA title after compiling 48 points for a second straight season last year. Only Marquette (2000-04) has won three straight C-USA team titles. 

Rice has won four C-USA team titles (2005, 2007, 2015, 2016) and have finished in the top three in 10 of the 12 seasons they've competed in the league.

Led by the reigning C-USA Coach of the Year Jim Bevan, the Owls enter Saturday’s race ranked ninth in the latest USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings. Aside from the Owls, UTEP (12th-Mountain), UAB (14th-South) and Southern Miss (15th-South) are also ranked in the top 15 in regional polls.

The Owls are a young team in 2017 with freshmen Lourdes Vivas de Lorenzi, Sara Ivackovic and Ruby Watson consistently finishing among the top five runners. Rice sophomore Khayla Patel, who was named the C-USA Athlete of the Week on Sept. 12, is coming off an eighth place finish at Pre Nationals and has been the Owls top finisher in all four races. She'll be joined by senior Elsa Racasan, who has placed 10th in the previous two C-USA title races. 





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