HOUSTON - Rice cross country launches the start of their 2017 season this Friday, Sept. 8 when they host the Norry Hersey Rice Invitational at the Rice Intramural Fields. The women's race begins at 6:15 p.m., followed by the men at approximately 6:45 p.m.
Admission for Friday's 18-team meet is free, as is parking located in West Lot 4.
The back-to-back, defending C-USA champion Rice Owls women's team returns three all-conference performers in Elsa Racasan (second team), Abigail Cartwright (second team) and Khayla Patel (third team), while losing C-USA First Team performers Cali Roper and Katie Jensen to graduation.
The women, who return 13 student-athletes in total this season, earned six of the 12 first place votes in the C-USA Preseason Poll and are picked as the C-USA faovrites. Rice is led by veteran head coach Jim Bevan, who returns for a 13th season and has been named the C-USA Coach of the Year four times, including each of the last two seasons.
The Owls enter Friday ranked seventh in the USTFCCCA South Central Region Preseason Poll.
The Rice men's team is also ranked seventh in the USTFCCCA South Central Region Preseason Poll and were picked to place fifth in the C-USA Coaches' Poll. Head coach Jon Warren enters his 16th season at the helm and will oversee a Rice team that returns nine letterwinners, including senior all-conference performer Marco Ruiz.
Results following Friday's will be available on RiceOwls.com.