By Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON - Rice senior vaulter McKenzie Johnson led a small Rice contingent on the opening day of the Houston Invitational Friday at Yeoman Field House.
Johnson, from San Diego, Calif., placed second overall and first amongst all collegiate competitors with day's best mark of 4.10m (13-05.25), clearing on her first attempt. Johnson finished behind only last year's All-American Demi Payne (4.65m).
Fellow senior teammate Marielle Brisbois, last year's C-USA Indoor champion, also placed fourth in the pole vault on Friday with a height of 3.85m (12-07.50). Another standout in the field events was junior thrower Dreu Dixson, who finished fifth in the hammer throw with a distance of 16.25m (53-03.75).
Freshman Akuira Young qualified for the 60m hurdles semis on Saturday with a finish of 9.08 in the prelims Friday. The Tomball native also placed 26th overall (26.25) in the 200m dash.