MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Rice Owls men’s and women’s track & field squads opened the first day of the 2016 Conference USA Outdoor Championships by posting solid results in the decathlon and heptathlon at Middle Tennessee’s Dean Hayes Track Thursday afternoon.
The trio of Colton Torrance (RS sophomore), Chris Sanders (RS senior) and Berk Norman (RS junior) concluded the first five events of the men’s decathlon in fourth-sixth place, respectively. Torrance (3494 points), placed third in both the 100m (11.28) and long jump (6.94m). Only Middle Tennessee’s Atsu Nyamadi (4021 points), UTSA’s Adrian Riley (3879 points) and FIU’s Pablo Espitia (3626 points) collected more opening day points.
Sanders (3481 points) finished fourth in both the long jump (6.68m) and shot put (12.30m) to earn a combined 1,330 points in the two events alone. Norman (3322 points) set personal bests in both the 100m (11.42) and long jump (6.62m).
The men will have five more events on Friday: 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m.
On the women’s side the Owls were led by freshman Giulia Sportoletti, who will enter Friday’s final three events in eighth place. Sportoletti, from Seregno, Italy, compiled 2853 points in her first career C-USA Championship competition, highlighted by a fourth place finish in the high jump with a 1.62m clearance on her final attempt.
Leslie Schilsky (2780 points) and Amanda Pasko (2362 points) enter Friday in 12th and 19th place, respectively.