HOUSTON - Khayla Patel and Elsa Racasan finished as the top collegiate runners to help lead the Rice Owls women's cross country team to a season-opeining victory at the Norry Hersey Rice Invitational Friday evening at the Rice Intramural Fields.
The Owls, who won the nine-team field with 25 points, averaged 14:15 per runner in the 3900 meter race.
Patel (13:48.13) and Racasan (13:48.63) placed second and third, respectively, overall while finishing as the top college runners. Freshmen Lourdes Vivas de Lorenzi (7th-14:21), Ruby Watson (9th-14:29) and Sara Ivackoic (15th-14:47) all were impressive in their debuts. Junior Anna Figueroa (17th-14:49) and Rachel Peterson (19th-14:52) also had strong openers.
"It was really exciting to get to see our freshmen perform like how they did tonight," head coach Jim Bevan said. "They went out in a controlled fashion and picked people off. We moved up as a group and got a low total. It's just always exciting to see freshmen compete because you don't know how they're going to react in their first home meet. And Khayla Patel has advanced to a new level running while Elsa Racasan is a better runner than she was last year. It was a great first meet. We got the ball rolling and now we have a lot of work to do before we get to conference."
Rice will next be in action on Saturday, Sept. 23 when they compete at the Texas A&M Invitational.
Final Team Standings
1. Rice - 25 points
2. Texas A&M-Corpus Chrisit - 501 points
3. Houston - 72 points
4. Texas A&M Intl. - 114 points
5. Sam Houston St. - 121 points
6. Houston Baptist - 174 points
7. Prairie View A&M - 190 points
8. Texas Southern - 243 points