March 22, 2010
Rice University hosts the 28th Victor Lopez Classic this weekend on the Rice campus at the Rice Track Stadium. The meet features competition with a multitude of high schools as well as universities including Rice, Houston, Houston Baptist, Baylor, Texas, Texas Southern, Michigan, Sam Houston State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, St. John's, Texas-Pan American, UT-San Antonio, and Huston Tillotson. Action gets underway Friday, March 26 at 1:30 p.m. Saturday's running events start at noon, while the men's hammer throw begins at 8 a.m.
Results will be posted on www.riceowls.com as well as at www.cfpitiming.com.
The meet is named after former Rice women's track and field coach, Victor Lopez. Lopez is regarded as one of the foremost respected teachers in the sports of cross country and track & field. Lopez, who started the Rice University women's cross country and track & field program and brought it to prominence, is a USTFCCCA Hall of Fame member and also a Rice Hall of Fame member began his career with the Owls in 1980.
He led Rice to five top-10 NCAA finishes, during his time at the school. Furthermore, Lopez's Owl athletes garnered over 150 All-American honors and collected 17 individual national championship titles.
Lopez-led teams won 10 conference crowns. In addition to the 1994 cross country title, Rice won the 1999 and 2002 Western Athletic Conference cross country championships. The Owls also won three consecutive WAC indoor titles from 2000-2002 and won back-to-back WAC outdoor titles in 2000-2001 and 2003-2004.
He also coached his native Puerto Rican track and field team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and was the national coach for the Olympic teams that competed in Barcelona in '92 and Sydney in 2000.
In 1990, Lopez received the IAAF's 75th Anniversary Commemorative medal for his efforts in developing track & field coaching and coaching education in Central America and the Caribbean, becoming the first North or Central American to be presented with the honor.
Lopez also played a key role in the formation of the IAAF's Coaches Commission as well as the North America, Central America and Caribbean Track & Field Coaches Association.
Lopez retired from Rice at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Presently he serves as chairman of the IAAF Coaches Commission and also as president of the NACACTFCA.
Ha has also been chairing the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (CACAC) since 1998.